Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

20-month sentence for deadly boating accident

  • Print

A man who survived a boating accident near The Forks that claimed the life of a childhood friend was given a 20-month jail sentence today.

Johnny Petriew, 37, was sentenced this afternoon after a plea bargain saw him enter a guilty plea to a single charge of dangerous operation of a vessel for the May 2011 tragedy.

Petriew and David Morris were in a 12-foot aluminum boat on the Assiniboine River that was swollen and had fast currents as a result of that spring’s flood. Authorities had banned boating on all Winnipeg rivers at the time.

Witnesses said the boat was moving erratically in the river before it capsized. Petriew managed to cling to drift wood and was pulled to shore. Morris, 37, was swept along into the Red River and drowned.

Petriew was originally charged with impaired operation of a vessel causing death and refusing a breath demand. Those charges were reduced at a preliminary hearing but later re-instated in Queen’s Bench. The Crown’s office ultimately accepted a plea bargain on the lesser charge.

Petriew admitted to police that he had had four beers throughout the day.

Justice Joan McKelvey said there was no definitive link between Petriew’s drinking and the incident and Morris’ death could not be linked to Petriew’s drinking.

McKelvey noted that Petriew has an extensive criminal record: 29 convictions, including six for drunk driving. He was sentenced to 10 months in jail in March 2010 after pleading guilty to several drinking and driving offences and was still prohibited from drinking alcohol when the May 2011 tragedy occurred.

Petriew was living in a rehabilitation facility after he pleaded guilty in December but was thrown out a month later for breaching a facility regulation and then sent back to Milner Ridge.

McKelvey sentenced Petriew to 18 months for the dangerous operation charge and two additional months for a charge of breaching a recognizance. But McKelvey also gave Petriew credit for the 19 months he had served in custody since his arrest, leaving him with an additional one month to serve.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Theresa Oswald announces bid for NDP leadership

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling flaps his wings after taking a bath in the duck pond at St Vital Park Tuesday morning- - Day 21– June 12, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald has entered the NDP leadership race, do you believe the "gang of five" rebel ministers were right to publicly criticize Premier Greg Selinger's leadership?

View Results

Ads by Google