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Court Of Appeals To Rule On Fatal Boating Accident Conviction

Last updated on Thursday, June 20, 2013

(ANGOLA) - Three Indiana Court of Appeals judges will rule on the case of a 2010 fatal boating crash on Lake Monroe .

The judges heard arguments by defense attorney Stacy Uliana and Ian McLean from the Indiana Attorney General's Office Tuesday in Angola.

Wood was convicted in July by a Monroe County jury of leaving the scene of a fatal boating accident that left 51-year-old Susan Collier and 8-year-old Gage Pruett of Williams dead. James Collier, Susan's husband, suffered a severe leg injury.

Department of Natural Resources officials say that James Collier was operating the 19-foot boat with his wife and their triplet grandsons when their boat collided with a 23-foot boat being driven now 22-year-old Wood, of Bloomington.

Wood was sentenced to two years in jail, two years on home detention, two years on probation and a $1,000 fine. Wood has completed his jail time and is now serving home detention.

Collier testified that Wood refused to help him try to save his wife - who was partially decapitated in the crash -- saying that Collier would have to save her himself, and then sped away.

Uliana told the justices Tuesday that state law requiring one to remain in the water until the authorities are summoned does not properly take into account the chaotic nature of such a scene. "Anyone involved in such emotional situations can become a criminal," she said.

After the attorneys provided the details of their cases, with questions and prompting by the justices, the court was adjourned. The judges will take the testimony under advisement and make a ruling later on the case.

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