MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A 72-year-old Roseville man faces serious charges after a fatal boating crash on Otter Tail Lake in northwestern Minnesota.
According to the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office, Charles Gramith is charged with three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide (grossly negligent operation, under influence of alcohol and under influence of intoxicating substance).
Authorities say there is evidence that Gramith was intoxicated from a combination of alcohol and prescription medication on the afternoon of Aug. 22 when he crashed his boat into a parked boat, killing 52-year-old Neil Baker.
Baker was tying up the boat with his wife when the collision occurred. Both Baker and his wife were thrown into the lake. Neighbors located Baker and attempted to provide assistance before first responders arrived. Baker was pronounced dead at the scene.
The complaint states that Gramith admitted to drinking two beers in the boat and another one earlier. He also said he takes a number of medications. When reviewing his medication, at least two indicated warnings for using with alcohol.
Gramith told deputies that he thought something was caught on the steering wheel, but then said he was not sure what happened.
“After the crash, [Gramith] said he thought about jumping in the water but did not. He put his boat onto the lift and went into the house to get a glass of water as it was hot,” the complaint said.
Baker suffered significant head trauma and lacerations to his shoulder and neck areas that caused “instant death”, the complaint said.
If convicted, Gramith could face up to 10 years in prison per criminal vehicular operation charge.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)