Fatal Collision: Court Hears Police Testimony

August 18, 2018

[Written by Don Burgess]

“I may have been going too fast.”

Those were the words jurors heard from police officers who say Andrew Lake spoke to them after allegedly crashing into a boat resulting in the death of New Zealand visitor Mary McKee on June 1, 2017.

Mr Lake has denied a charge of manslaughter in the death of Mrs McKee, who was in Bermuda with her husband to attend the America’s Cup.

Jurors heard testimony from Acting Sergeant Mark Monk and PC Milton Hill.

Officers Monk and Hill were among the first responders on the scene. Acting Sergeant Monk said while they were keeping people back from the scene, Mr Lake docked his boat and approached them.

“He said he was the driver of the boat in the collision in the Harbour,” Acting Sergeant Monk told the court. “He identified himself as Andy Lake. He informed us he lives in Bermuda and he was living on a charter boat at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.”

The Acting Sergeant told the court they asked him where the accident happened, and Mr Lake said he thought he saw another boat and looked around, and that’s when he collided with another boat.

“He said he might have been going too fast. That he might have been going 15 to 20 knots. He said he went to assist with the persons involved in the collision before coming into the dock,” he said.

The Acting Sergeant then said PC Hill arrested Mr Lake and escorted him to the Hamilton Police Station.

Under cross-examination from defence counsel, Acting Sergeant Monk said he wrote his notes on the night’s events within two hours. He said that Mr Lake with cooperative and concerned about the victims that he had hit.

QC Jerome Lynch questioned the Acting Sergeant about the 100% accuracy of his notes, to which the Acting Sergeant replied that what he put in quotes is accurate.

Mr Lynch said he asked him how fast he was going, to which Mr Monk replied that he volunteered that information.

Mr Lynch said that Mr Lake accepted that he was probably going faster than 10 knots, but that the Acting Sergeant suggested to Mr Lake that he was going 15 to 20 knots.

“That’s definitely not possible,” Mr Monk said.

PC Hill took the stand next and gave his account of his encounter with Mr Lake, saying that he told him as he swerved to avoid colliding with another boat, and he felt a lurch as he collided with another power craft on the water.

PC Hill asked Mr Lake if the other boat was illuminated to which Mr Lake replied: “It may or may not have been.”

Mr Lake was then arrested and cautioned.

PC Hill described Mr Lake as quiet on the ride to the police station, and also described Mr Lake as “very upset” and asking about the status of the victims.

QC Lynch questioned PC Hill as to whether he should have cautioned his client sooner, and PC Hill replied no, because they were still gathering information as to how the accident happened.

The case is scheduled to resume on Monday.

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