A Halifax-area man was found guilty Friday of dangerous operation of a vessel for a speed boat crash three years ago that killed a man.
Daniel William MacKay, 36, of Hatchet Lake, was convicted on one charge of dangerous operation of a vessel causing the death of Kenny Juteau, and one charge of dangerous operation of a vessel causing bodily harm to Rhonda Roach, after a lengthy trial in Halifax provincial court.
He will be sentenced May 2. The charge of causing death carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
MacKay's cigarette boat, named Never a Dull Moment, plowed into a naval buoy in Bedford Basin at 1:32 a.m. on July 4, 2005, killing Juteau and injuring Roach.
Juteau, 41, was on the boat's deck at the time of the crash and was catapulted into the water. His body was found 11 days later.
Passenger Rhonda Roach, who was injured in the crash, testified that she saw Juteau standing near the galley stairs holding a bottle of beer just before the collision.
She was among four other passengers who were below deck at the time of the crash and were able to don life-jackets and swim to shore. MacKay clambered onto the bow of the overturned boat and was pulled to shore by rope.
MacKay initially faced charges of impaired driving causing death and bodily harm and criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm.
Court heard that MacKay's boat was going 143 kilometres an hour when it struck the unlit naval buoy near the Chinatown Restaurant. That meant the boat was travelling 40 metres a second as it approached the buoy, the court heard, making it difficult to avoid a collision.
At trial, the main issue was who was at the helm of the $250,000 Donzi boat.
The court heard that MacKay and Juteau were the only people on deck at the time of the accident. Other people had taken the boat's wheel during the day, but once it became dark only MacKay had control of the boat, the court heard.