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Belgian tourist sentenced for fatal Como boat accident

Lake Como © lewis-j-goetz-unsplash

A Belgian tourist has been sentenced to two years in prison for a boating accident on Lake Como in the north of Italy in which one person died.

Clea Celia Wuttke, aged 21, was at the wheel of a speed boat carrying 11 Belgian tourists on the water at the end of June when the boat suddenly collided with another vessel containing three local people. One of them, 21-year-old Luca Fusi, died in the collision.

The accident enquiry concluded that she had been travelling at excess speed, had not seen the other boat, and would in any case have not been experienced enough to take evasive action if she had.

Conditions on the much larger speedboat, property of her stepfather, were described as ‘a party atmosphere’ with loud music and, with the bow of the boat raised by the excess speed, a restricted view of what was ahead.

She has spent the time since the accident living in the villa in Villa Balbianello, in the village of Lenni on the edge of the lake, where she was staying at the time.

The verdict was delivered to the family ten days ago, according to reports, and it was agreed that subject to the payment of damages to the family of Fusi, all other detention measures will be lifted, and Wuttke will be allowed to leave Italy.

However the arrangement still has to be ratified by a court, which is expected to take place in November. Any or all of the conditions are then able to be modified, including the permission to leave the country, which would mean she would have to return to Italy to meet whatever new conditions the court should decide.

However the family of the victim are reported by Corriere della Sera to be satisfied by the outcome.

“We fully respect what the court has decided on alternative sanctions. We do trust the authorities to take into account the unparalleled seriousness of the facts and the extraordinary life of Luca,” the newspaper reports.

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