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Boater charged in fatal collision

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Police on Friday arrested Burt W. Hamilton, 54 of 153 Palmer Road, Chaplin, on charges stemming from a Dec. 7, 2012, fatal boating accident on the Housatonic River in Shelton. 

Hamilton was charged with reckless boating in the first degree, failure to maintain proper lookout, and speed in excess of slow-no-wake zone.

In the accident, Hamilton’s boat collided with a dock piling while Hamilton was trying to return the boat to Sunnyside Boat Ramp in Shelton, according to DEEP statement. During the accident, a passenger on Hamilton’s boat, Donald Bessette, also of Chaplin, fell overboard and drowned.

The investigation conducted by DEEP Police’s Boating Accident Reconstruction Unit determined that Bessette was allegedly ejected from the boat when it collided with the dock piling. 

Hamilton is set to appear in Derby Superior Court on April 1.

Click here for a report by the Valley Independent Sentinel.