MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES BROUGHT IN BOATING DEATH
September 18, 2003
Manslaughter charges have been filed against Timothy Tyler Sass (DOB 6/20/58) of 627 S.E. 20th Place, Cape Coral, in the alcohol-related boating death of a Lee County resident. Glen A. York (DOB 1/20/58) of 4306 Lyric Court, Ft. Myers, was a passenger aboard a 35-foot cabin cruiser operated by Sass on May 31, when the vessel hit a sandbar near the southeast tip of Sanibel Island. York was standing between the cockpit seats and thrown into the cabin below sustaining fatal neck and chest injuries. According to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigation, alcohol played a significant factor in York’s death.
“A considerable number of open containers of alcohol were found aboard the vessel, and six passengers and the operator of the vessel had consumed additional alcohol at a local establishment,” said Sgt. Lenny Barshinger, FWC lead investigator in the case.
According to the FWC investigation, the 35-foot twin engine thunderbird was traveling 20-30 mph in a northwesterly direction when it hit a sandbar at about 6:30 p.m. The grounding occurred eight-tenths of a nautical mile southeast of Point Ybel in the Gulf of Mexico. The impact caused a sudden deceleration of the vessel, throwing York through the companionway onto the deck below. A call was placed to 911 by one of the occupants of the vessel, and passengers attempted CPR on York until FWC officers and EMS personnel arrived on scene at 7:56 p.m. The Coast Guard arrived a short time later and helped transfer York to Sanibel Island. York was then Med-Flighted to Lee Memorial Health Park, where he was pronounced dead at 9:08 p.m. Autopsy findings for York list the cause of death as cervical spinal cord contusion, cervical spine fracture and blunt trauma to the head and neck. There were no other injuries reported in the accident. Sass consented to a blood alcohol level test that revealed a blood alcohol level of .108; the legal limit is .08. Sass turned himself in to Lee County jail this morning at 10 a.m. by prior agreement with authorities.
For more information on Boating Safety issues visit the FWC’s Web site at www.floridaconservation.org and click on "Boating" or contact the Lakeland office at (863) 648-3206.
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