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Homicide Charges Filed in Fatal St. Croix Boat Crash

Updated: 11/01/2013 7:25 AM
Created: 11/01/2013 7:15 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson

A Minnesota man has been criminally charged in a fatal boating crash on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River.
    
Forty-seven-year-old Patrick Puhalla, of Bayport, Minn., is accused of driving a boat while drunk last June and crashing into the shoreline near Kinnickinnic State Park. Forty-year-old David Riley, of New Richmond, was a passenger in the boat and was killed. Riley worked as a harbormaster at Windmill Marina in Afton, Minn.
    
Puhalla is charged in Pierce County with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, among other counts. Puhalla says he was not actually operating the boat and that it was being steered by electronics on the night of the crash.
    
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports another passenger in the boat, Daniel Schulte, told investigators Puhalla did not appear to be intoxicated.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

The boat ran into a rockface on the side of the river just north of the Kinnickinnic State Park Beach in Wisconsin.

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