Sudbury·Updated

Lake Wanapitei 2013 fatal boating crash inquest may be called

The Sudbury coroner's office says a decision will made early this month about whether an inquest will be held into a fatal boating accident.
According to an article published in today's Toronto Star, the families of those who died in a Canada Day weekend boat crash on Lake Wanapitei in 2013 are calling for an inquest to determine what was done wrong. Dr. David Eden, the regional coroner for Sudbury, is expected to release a decision this week on whether he will call an inquest.

The Sudbury coroner's office says a decision will made early this month about whether an inquest will be held into a Lake Wanapitel fatal boating accident that killed three people.

Four people were on board the boat when it crashed into a small island on the Canada Day weekend in 2013.

According to an article published in today'sToronto Star, Rob Dorzek held his unconscious girlfriend in his arms, and phoned 911.

Reports state the 911 dispatcher was unable to track the location of the boat.

Dorzek was told to light a signal fire that accidentally spread in the dry conditions on the island, igniting the boat, and killing Michael Kritz.

The newspaper obtained provincial documents that show the response was plagued by confusion and delays.

It took the rescue boat an hour after the initial call for help to locate the accident scene.

Much confusion

Now, the families want an inquest.

Toni Kritz's brother Michael died in the boating tragedy, along with Stephanie Bertrand and Matthew Humeniuk.
Kritz has been following the case closely, dealing with the police and the coroner's reports.

She said she's heard the 911 call and read the transcript as events unfolded that night. The transcript shows Robert Dorzek phoned 911 and spoke with a dispatcher.

Kritz said there was much confusion about where the boat crashed and how to locate the vessel and the injured people aboard.

Dorzek was told by the dispatcher to start a signal fire, which quickly got out of control, Kritz said, "and consumed the boat while my brother and the driver of the boat were still inside. And my brother died from the fire."

Kritz said the families have many concerns about how the whole effort was handled, as well as who was notified and when.

Documents in her possession make reference to communications issues. Kritz said the system that night did not work, and their lives will never be the same.

According to the coroner's office, Dr. David Eden's decision about an inquest is pending.

The office added that, once a decision is made, the family of the deceased will be notified.

Fire fighters also want inquest

In a news release issued Wednesday, the Sudbury Professional Fire Fighters Association is also asking the Coroner's Office to call an inquest into the deaths.

“The events of that tragic night need to be made public and the citizens of this community need to decide if the emergency response system failed these four individuals,” said Rob Hyndman, resident of the Sudbury Professional Fire Fighters

“We cannot allow the mechanism of injury, in this case the reports of drunk driving, cloud our analysis of the emergency response”, said Hyndman.

“The SPFFA believes there were serious deficiencies in the response that, if had been previously addressed, could have potentially changed the outcome of this tragedy.”

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