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Montgomery County man suspected in fatal boating accident

Tennessee state officials are reportedly continuing the investigation into a fatal boating accident last Saturday on the Cumberland River near Clarksville. Whether that is an indication that additional criminal charges related to the case could be forthcoming is unclear, but it might be possible.

As things stand now, a Palmyra man is already facing serious charges of vehicular homicide in connection with the death of a 21-year-old woman in the matter. Authorities also have leveled charges of tampering with evidence, boating without a license and registration and contributing to a minor consuming alcohol. He is said to be being held in Montgomery County jail on more than $400,000 bond.

According to a report filed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the 23-year-old suspect was behind the wheel of an 18-foot motor boat on the river when it struck the female victim and a 20-year-old male who was with her in the water. The two were both injured and the woman later died of her wounds. The condition of the male victim wasn't immediately available.

There were two other people in the boat with the man who was charged in the case, but none of them was hurt.

What role alcohol may have played in the accident isn't made clear in the reports we've seen. This is an important question to get answered because in any allegation of vehicular homicide prosecutors are required to prove that alcohol was the immediate cause of the accident that resulted in a death. If the evidence runs counter to that, it needs to be brought out in the course of presenting the defense. The best way to ensure that happens is to have the help of an experienced attorney.

Source: Tennessean.com, "Montgomery County man charged with vehicular homicide in Saturday boating accident," Emily West, July 2, 2013

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