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Conservation Officer Tells Jury About 911 Calls

Last updated on Thursday, June 7, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) - Conservation officer Angie Goldman was the first to take the stand Wednesday morning in the second day of the jury trial of Winston Wood, who is accused of leaving the scene of a Lake Monroe boating accident that killed a grandmother and one of her grandsons in June 2010.

Abby Tonsing of the Herald-Times reports that Goldman told the jury that if she had known that a passenger in Wood's boat had made his own call to 911, six minutes after the first emergency call for help, officers would not have spent about an hour searching for Wood's boat after the crash.

Wood, 21, of Bloomington, stands charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury in the June 28, 2010 boating accident.

The Cobalt ski boat Wood was driving collided with a Ranger bass boat, an accident that killed Susan Collier, the wife of James "Rusty" Collier, and his 8-year-old grandson, Gage Pruett.

Gage's two other triplet brothers survived the crash.

Collier testified Tuesday that no one in Wood's boat helped him and sped away from the scene of the crash, even when he specifically screamed for help saving his wife from the water.

Once Goldman arrived at the scene of the collision, she immediately sent other officers to go look for the second boat involved the accident, Goldman testified.

She learned later that evening that Marietta made an emergency call from Wood's ski boat, but did not know the exact time of that call until the following day, Goldman testified.

Goldman also later learned that a 911 dispatcher knew where Wood's boat had docked at Fourwinds. This information was not immediately relayed to her when she arrived at the scene of the accident.

"At the end of their conversation it sounds as though they are already there," Goldman said of Wood's arrival at the boat slip "They tell the 911 operator where they are at. She tells them to stay put."

At Fourwinds, the three young men in the boat were "told to wait," by the dispatcher. Their particular boat slip and dock, P5, is "not where they were told to go," she said.

In Marietta's 911 call, played for jurors on Tuesday afternoon, he told the emergency dispatcher he was at boat slip and dock C6.

Defense attorney Fred Vaiana, of Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman asked Goldman:
"You not knowing that the Wood boat had called 911 is not the fault of Winston Wood?"
Goldman replied: "No, sir."

In her investigation, Goldman testified she learned Wood jumped into the water, swam to Susan Collier, realized she was already dead, and swam back to his boat before climbing in.

She also testified that she learned from an independent witness that someone had jumped off the ski boat.

Monroe County chief deputy prosecutor Bob Miller entered into evidence more than 20 photographs of the exterior and interior Wood's ski boat taken immediately after the accident. One of the photographs showed the bilge pump switch panel on Wood's boat, which was set in the "automatic" rather than "on" position.

Miller asked Goldman if, on the night of the accident, she observed any evidence of water damage to Wood's boat.

Boats are always going to take on some amounts of water, she said.

"But there was no significant damage. There was no water, significant amounts of water high up in the boat," Goldman said.

In Marietta's 911 call, he said he feared their boat was taking on water and they had to secure it.

The trial continues today.

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