Man convicted in hit and run boat crash

By Hannah Helsby posted 12-17-2018 02:47 PM


Man convicted in hit and run boat crash, multiple victims
[Lyman, ME - 12/17/18]

A man from Lyman, Maine was convicted on four counts of Reckless Conduct with a Dangerous Weapon resulting from a hit and run boat crash that occurred on July 8, 2017 around midnight on Wadleigh Pond in Lyman. Matthew Campbell was found guilty by a jury in Alfred Superior Court of operating a pontoon boat that crashed head-on into another boat that had four occupants. As a result of the starboard pontoon of Campbell’s boat penetrating the middle of the victim’s boat, the victim’s boat sank immediately. Although all four occupants sustained head injuries to include concussions and serious lacerations, they managed to climb onto Campbell’s pontoon boat immediately after this violent crash.

Campbell and his passenger took the victims to shore but left the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Witnesses gave Maine Game Wardens a description of the pontoon boat and reported that Campbell was highly intoxicated, was traveling at a high rate of speed, and his watercraft was not displaying navigational lights.

The pontoon boat was located the next morning on shore. Game Wardens documented damage to the boat and took DNA swabs of fresh blood located within the boat. Later in the investigation, a photo line-up was shown to the operator of the victim’s boat and Campbell was identified as the operator of the suspect watercraft. DNA analysis matched Campbell to the blood found.

Game Warden Eric Blanchard was the primary investigator for this crash and stated, “this was a team effort on the part of several Game Wardens and the York County District Attorney’s office. It was a lengthy and comprehensive investigation.” Warden Blanchard attended the NASBLA Level 2 Boat Crash Investigation and Reconstruction Training in 2014.

The following statement was issued by York County District Attorney’s Office and the prosecutors involved in this case:

This conviction was an important victory for both the Maine Warden Service and the York County District Attorney's Office because it serves as a warning to other reckless boaters that use our lakes that they will be held accountable for their actions in the court of law.  We remain committed to protecting recreational boaters and others by enforcing the laws of our states.   Justina McGettigan, Deputy District Attorney and Lauren Daley, Assistant District Attorney, York County District Attorney's Office, Alfred, Maine. 

The Maine Warden Service is serious about boating law enforcement and the above case displays how important safe boating is in Maine.

Article provided by Maine Warden Service.