A Lake County judge has sentenced David Hatyina to 10 years in prison for killing a 10-year-old boy while driving his boat under the influence of alcohol and cocaine last summer. The horrific accident occurred while the boy was inner-tubing behind a boat driven by his father. The boy had fallen into the water and was waiting to be picked up when Hatyina ran the boy over with his powerboat. Hatyina did not see the boy in the water despite the boy's family yelling and waiving frantically as Hatyina's boat rapidly approached the boy.
Following the deadly collision, Hatyina failed a field sobriety test and admitted to drinking. Police also found cocaine in his system.
As a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, I believe this tragic case should serve as an important reminder that boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. In fact, alcohol was a factor in 17% of fatal boating accidents last year. I am pleased to see that this judge gave Hatyina a sizable prison sentence and hope it will cause people to think twice before drinking and boating this summer.