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Trial Begins In Case Involving Fatal Monroe Lake Crash

A Monroe County court began the trail for a case involving a fatal boating accident on Monroe Lake.

Jurors heard opening statements and initial arguments Tuesday in a case involving a boating accident on Monroe Lake.

Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller says defendant Winston Wood crashed his boat into a boat driven by Rusty Collier. The collision eventually took the life of Collier’s wife and one of his three grandsons who were also riding in the boat.

During opening statements Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller suggested defendant Winston Wood told fellow boater Rusty Collier, “You save her yourself,” referring to his wife Susan Collier who had just been seriously injured when their boats collided.

Defense Attorney Fred Vaiana responded by saying the evidence will not prove Wood was at fault for the crash or left the scene of the accident.

Prosecutor Bob Miller stressed Wood changed his statement initially saying no one was injured. Miller says Wood changed his story nine days later, saying he jumped in the water and swam toward Susan Collier.

The jury heard from four witnesses. Terry Bauvel, the second person to testify, told jurors she saw the accident from the balcony of condominium on the lake shore. Bauvel testified she heard parts of the “save her yourself” conversation but when pressed by Defense Attorney Vaiana, Bauvel admitted she could not tell who said what immediately following the collision.

Bauvel’s daughter and Monroe County 911 Dispatch Communications Manager Jeff Schemmer testified later in the day, with the prosecution expected to continue calling witnesses Wednesday morning.

Shameka Neely

Shameka Neely, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enthusiastically joined WTIU as Senior Reporter/ InFocus Producer in the news department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communication, with a minor in Marketing and Masters of Arts Degrees' in Administrative Dynamics and Communication all from Western Kentucky University. Shameka also holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Indiana University.

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