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Boating Violations, No Criminal Charges In Skaneateles Lake Accident

Local News

Below is largely from a news release issued late Friday by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s office:

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies have completed the investigation into the July 6 boating crash on Skaneateles Lake that critically injured an 8 year old girl.

Sheriff’s Detectives along with deputies assigned to the Sheriff’s Navigation Unit say  Jamie Wheeler, 33, of Homer, was operating a 17-foot Bayliner boat when the boat’s propeller struck her husband, Christopher Driscoll, 32, and her stepdaughter Kaelynne Driscoll, who was 8.

The two had been riding an inner tube that was being towed by Wheeler when the inner tube struck a wake, throwing Christopher and Kaelynne into the water.

As Wheeler circled back the boat’s propeller struck the two causing serious injuries.

Wheeler and Christopher Driscoll’s two-year-old son were on the boat at the time of the incident with Driscoll’s brother Andrew, 24, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Greene, 21, both of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Everyone in the boat was uninjured.

Deputies performed field sobriety tests at the scene and a blood test later showed that Wheeler was not intoxicated under state law.

On September 6th, Sheriff Eugene Conway formally recognized two men, Eric Marcinkowski, 40, of Syracuse, and David Goetzmann, 28, of Skaneateles, for their heroic actions on that day. The men rescued Kaelynne and Christopher Driscoll from the water and performed life-saving measures.

Since the crash, Kaelynne has undergone several surgeries and received therapy at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston.

Her father also underwent surgery and was released three days after the crash.

Deputies charged Jamie Wheeler under Navigation law with:

  • Uunsafe towing of a person
  • Nno or insufficient visual distress signals
  • No required ventilation for the boat
  • No type IV throwable device
  • Littering into the water

Wheeler is scheduled to appear in the Town of Skaneateles Court on October 19 at 7 pm.

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