Boating Hit & Run Trial Begins Again

March 6, 2009 2:08:46 PM PST
The man accused of driving a boat and seriously injuring a young boy is once again facing trial. This is the second time Roger Guzman is sitting before a jury. His trial ended last year with a partial mistrial. Guzman is accused of failing to stop and help the boy after a crash that nearly killed the 11-year-old. Shaver Lake's cool waters were the scene of the horrific crash. On Labor Day 2006, Dallen McEntire was knee boarding. His father drove a wave runner pulling the boy. During opening statements on Wednesday, the prosecutor blamed Roger Guzman for driving a boat that struck Dallen. Prosecutor Dennis Cooper said, "There was a loud slap sound as Dallen was struck. And you will hear how after that point in time, the boat bogged down, slowed down, the boat fish tailed as Dallen passed under the boat."

Dallen lived. But a large gash covered his face and head. The boat sped away. Dallen's father Jeff was the second witness to testify. The judge did not allow the media to video tape his tearful testimony. Jeff said, "I watched him pop up from the water. I went directly to him. He was facing down in the water, floating."

Guzman and his passenger Thomas Kirby are being tried separately. Witnesses say a yellow and white boat hit the boy. Defense Attorney Scott Baly said Guzman also drove a yellow and white boat, but he said investigators have the wrong man. Baly said 8 similar boats were on the lake and Guzman cooperated with investigators. Baly said, "He talked to the police officers and said, 'yea we know. Everybody is taking about a yellow and white boat ... But I didn't hit any boy. I didn't hit anybody and here's my information."

The prosecutor will continue calling witness Thursday morning. Kirby is expected to be tried after Guzman.

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