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Winston Wood Sentenced In Fatal Boating Accident

Last updated on Saturday, July 21, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) -21-year-old Winston Wood was sentenced Friday afternoon to two years in jail, two years on home detention and two years on probation for leaving the scene of a June 2010 Lake Monroe boating accident that left a Susan Collier of Bedford, and her 8-year-old grandson Gage Pruett dead.

He also must pay a $1,000 fine and get mental health counseling.

Wood was sentenced in Monroe Circuit Court by Morgan Superior Court Judge Jane Spencer Craney, who also presided over last month's trial. Jurors deliberated 5 hours and found Wood guilty of 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.

On June 28, 2010, Wood's Cobalt ski boat collided with a Ranger bass boat driven by James "Rusty" Collier on Lake Monroe, Collier, his wife Susan and the couple's triplet grandsons were aboard. Susan and Gage died and Rusty suffered a serious leg injury in the collision.

A Department of Natural Resources report determined neither boat driver was at fault.
Laura Lane, of the Herald Times reports that Judge Craney imposed the sentence, Wood stood and faced his family and that of the victims. He said, crying, that he will be haunted forever by the boating accident, but acknowledged that the grief of the victims' family members surpasses any pain he will ever know.

He told the court he was overcome by a "terrifying panic" after seeing Susan Collier's dead body floating in the water.

He said not helping the victims and speeding away from the scene was wrong. He acknowledged failing to do the right thing.

Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said he doesn't buy Wood's remorse. He cited a pre-sentence investigation report in which Wood told a probation officer that if he had it to do over, he would not change his actions that day.

Judge Craney reviewed 44 letters of support for Wood, from family members, family friends and teachers asking for leniency; none spoke during the hearing.

But she heard in person from several people related to Susan Collier and Gage Pruett. Some read letters they had written themselves, and they also read correspondence from other family members who were too upset to attend the hearing.

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