Laconia — December 13, 2008 — The Belknap County Grand Jury, according to an article in the Laconia Daily Sun, has indicted Erica Blizzard for negligent homicide and aggravated driving as a result of an early morning boating accident on June 15th.
Erica and two friends, Stephanie Beaudoin and Nicole Shinopules, were reported to be heading to a home on Sleeper’s Island when it struck Diamond Island at about 2:30 AM. Shinopules was taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries, Blizzard was taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Beaudoin was killed.
Investigators from the New Hampshire Marine Patrol had been told by Shinopules that the three had been drinking in Wolfboro before leaving there by boat. Investigators recovered alcoholic beverages from the boat, beer cans near the crash site, and also took blood samples from Blizzard.
At the time of the accident, Blizzard was president of the New Hampshire Recreational Boaters Association which had been mounting a lobbying effort against proposed legislation efforts that would have imposed speed limits on boaters on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Negligent homide is a class B felony and the penalty could be up to 7 years in prison. Negligent homicide that occurs while operating a vehicle or boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a class A felony and the penalty could be up to 15 years in prison.
[This information is courtesy of The New Hampshire Law Blog]