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Man Involved In 2010 Boating Death Faces Jury June 4th

Last updated on Thursday, May 24, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) - 21-year-old Wilson Wood, of Bloomington, will face a jury of his peers on June 4th.

Wilson is charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and one count of leaving an accident causing injury. The trial is expected to last a week.

According to a probable cause affidavit, wood was driving his father's ski boat the evening of June 28, 2010 when it collided with a bass boat on the south end of Lake Monroe, between the dam and Fourwinds marina.

Rusty and Susan Collier of Bedford, were out fishing with their triplet grandsons. The collision of the two boats killed 51-year-old Susan Collier and her 8-year-old grandson Gage Pruett.

A blood test indicated Wood had traces of marijuana in his system, but investigators did not observe any signs of intoxication. He had not consumed alcohol before the crash.
A Department of Natural Resources investigation of the crash did not assign blame to either boat operator.

During a pre-trial conference Tuesday afternoon, Morgan Superior Court Judge Jane Spencer Craney, who was appointed special judge in the case, ruled to limit the jury's exposure to graphic and disturbing photographs taken at the scene and of the victims.

She also ruled there can be no reference to a $2 million insurance settlement the Collier and Pruett families received from Wood's insurance company in a wrongful-death lawsuit seeking damages for the loss of lives and pain and suffering of the survivors.

If convicted, Wood could face a jail term of two to eight years for the two charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and six months to three years on the other charge.

Months after the crash, Rusty Collier asked state Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, to lead an effort to change Indiana's boating while intoxicated law so that it is in line with the law for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, where having traces of drugs in the blood can lead to an operating while intoxicated charge.

The legislation became law in February. Under the previous statute, a person suspected of operating a boat under the influence of drugs could not be charged with OWI unless officers at the scene document impairment.

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