Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Man free on bond in boat wreck

Posts $20K bail in accident injuring seven

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NEWPORT - A Columbus-area man indicted last week in a boat crash that injured seven people on the Ohio River posted bond Tuesday.

Glenn C. Colann, 54, of the Columbus suburb of Gahanna, would not comment as he left the Campbell County jail after posting a $20,000 bond.

Colann, an automobile dealer, wasn't scheduled to make his first appearance in court until next week, but Campbell Circuit Judge William Wehr arraigned him on the charges Tuesday. Colann pleaded not guilty and requested his $60,000 bond be reduced.

"We would indicate he's been totally cooperative throughout the course of this matter, including turning himself in this morning," said Jim Morgan, Colann's lawyer. "He is in a position to post bond, and we ask the court to amend that bond to a $20,000 cash bond."

Wehr gave the nod to the lower bond, noting that Colann had turned himself in.

Colann faces 14 counts - 11 of them felonies - for the crash. The charges are:

• Four felonies of first-degree assault for the four boat passengers seriously injured;

• Three misdemeanors of fourth-degree assault for the three passengers who were less seriously injured;

• Seven felonies of first-degree wanton endangerment for, among other things, allegedly fleeing the scene.

If convicted of all the charges, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

He is accused of driving his $187,000, 40-foot speedboat over a smaller pleasure craft late June 27 and leaving the crash scene. All the passengers in the smaller boat - including a 6-year-old - were injured.

The owner of the smaller boat, Brian Maher of Sycamore Township, said he was the most seriously injured. The Wyoming Middle School teacher said last week that he has lost most of the use of his right hand.

Colann turned his boat over to authorities several days after the crash when he said he learned they were looking for a boat like his, which is a Baja powerboat named Snap Decision.

A pretrial hearing in the case has been set for 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Campbell County Courthouse.


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