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Suspected hit-and-run driver arrested

AUG. 25 — A Sioux Falls, S.D., man was arrested Tuesday and charged in the fatal hit-and-run accident on West Lake Okoboji in Iowa Aug. 12.

Justin A. Nearman, 29, has been charged with one count of operating a motor boat while intoxicated resulting in the death of another person, and one count of operating a motor boat while intoxicated resulting in the serious injury of another person, a news report says. Nearman is reportedly being held at Minnehaha County Jail in South Dakota on $42,250 bond.

If found guilty of both charges, Nearman could face up to 30 years in prison, the report says.

A boat said to be operated by Nearman crashed into the rear of a second boat, ran over it, and then fled the scene. A passenger on the second boat — Michael J. Brosnahan, 51, a dentist in Perry, Iowa — was killed in the incident. Brosnahan’s wife, Jill, 50, was severely injured and was taken to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. She was reportedly treated for broken ribs, a broken scapula and lacerations. The accident happened around 2 a.m.

Authorities announced Saturday that they had seized a boat found on the lake in northern Iowa Friday, which they believed was involved in the fatal crash. The boat was described as a runabout, longer than 22 feet and with one black stripe, according to a news report.

Ryan Deighton, 21, also of Sioux Falls, is said to have been a passenger on the boat with Nearman that night, but police don’t expect to file any charges against him, the report says. Investigators hope to speak with the owner of the boat, who they wouldn’t identify, but say isn’t Nearman.

Jason Fell