Frisco man pleads guilty to boating under influence in drowning case
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” Frisco resident Kevin Lukanski pleaded guilty on Monday to boating under the influence some five months after his friend, Adam Brown, fell from the boat he was operating and drowned in Colorado’s Dillon Reservoir.
Lukanski, 35, also pleaded no contest to the charge of criminally negligent homicide, a lesser charge than the original count of vehicular manslaughter that he faced.
Lukanski allegedly was goofing around at the helm of the rented boat on Aug. 6, and a sharp turn caused 26-year-old Brown to fall and hit his head on the boat’s propeller. Brown’s body was recovered from 47 feet of water three days later.
Lukanski’s blood-alcohol level after the incident was measured at 0.22, or nearly three times the limit for legally driving a motor vehicle. Under state law, a boat is considered a motor vehicle.
In a September preliminary hearing, Summit County Sheriff’s Detective Wes Mumford testified that another passenger in the boat recounted that Lukanski was “doing donuts” as they approached the Frisco Marina.
District Court Judge Terry Ruckreigle recounted the charges before accepting the plea, as Brown’s mother, Debbie, could do little to hide her obvious grief.
“We’re just happy that Kevin has taken responsibility for his actions,” she said outside the courtroom. “We have to let the justice system do what it does and trust in that.”
Debbie Brown and her husband, Greg, have attended every court appearance since the incident, traveling from their home in Columbus, Ind.
“For us, this is part of the healing process,” Greg Brown said. “Coming here reminds us of why Adam loved it so much … So it’s always a bittersweet trip.”
Criminally negligent homicide is a Class 4 felony, and Lukanski could face one to three years in prison and fines from $10,000 to $100,000. Boating under the influence is a misdemeanor charge that carries a possible prison sentence of five days to a year and fines up to $1,000.
Lukanski is scheduled for sentencing in Summit County District Court at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 26.