Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Boater intoxicated in fatal accident
By Shelley Grieshop
A 33-year-old Celina man was drunk when he sped his boat into a fishing boat on Grand Lake late Saturday night.
Shane Frey, 810 Cheshire Circle, who died in the crash, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.29 - nearly four times the legal limit in Ohio of 0.08, according to investigators. He reportedly was at the Celina Moose Lodge earlier in the evening.
Frey was pronounced dead at St. Rita's Medical Center, Lima, six hours after the 11:45 p.m. crash that took place about 200 yards off the shore of Northwood on the north side of the lake. The two men occupying the stationary fishing boat received only minor injuries.
Frey was operating the 18-foot Triton pleasure boat at approximately 40 to 50 mph when it slammed into the 22-foot Ebbtide boat, authorities said.
"He was going at a pretty good speed," Grand Lake St. Marys State Park Manager Craig Morton said this morning.
Daylight speeds on the lake are unlimited when boaters are 300 feet or more from shore, he said. However, boat speeds are 10 mph after dark, Morton added.
Frey's boat struck the other boat dead center and traveled over the top of it, destroying its fiberglass hull. He was ejected from his boat and found by rescuers 30 minutes later face-down in the water.
After impact, the fishermen remained on board their heavily-damaged boat.
Morton said investigators have not determined where Frey was heading at the time of the accident.
Since 2001, 122 people have lost their lives in boating accidents in Ohio. According to the Division of Watercraft, alcohol continues to be a leading contributing factor in boating fatalities throughout the state.
Frey, the son of Connie Frey of Celina and the late Gary Frey, was a 1994 graduate of Memorial High School, St. Marys, and worked as a production staff member at Celina Aluminum Precision Technology (CAPT) in Celina. He followed NASCAR and dirt track auto racing and enjoyed boating and fishing, according to information on his obituary, which appears on page 5A today.
Funeral services are set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Miller Funeral Home in St. Marys.