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Alberta man faces serious charges in boating accident that killed teen
An Alberta man has been charged with impaired driving causing death almost three years after a popular B.C. teenager was tragically killed after being struck by a powerboat while tubing on Osoyoos Lake.
Ryan William Symington, now age 30, faces several charges relating to the incident that claimed the life of Marco Corbin, 18, who was killed instantly when he was hit by a boat while tubing with friends in the late afternoon hours of Aug. 16, 2011.
After a three-year police investigation, Symington has been charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident, having care and control of a vessel with over .08 of alcohol in his system and attempting to obstruct justice.
Only two months after graduating high school, Corbin and several of his friends made the trip for some summer fun in Osoyoos.
The teenager was rushed back to shore, but paramedics and bystanders were unable to revive him.
Symington, who was released on $15,000 cash bail after spending one night in jail following his arrest, is scheduled to make his next appearance on May 28 at the Penticton Courthouse.
Bob Corbin, the deceased’s father, said his family has been torn apart since he lost his oldest son.
“All I can say is my family has been totally devastated and destroyed since this happened,” he said in a telephone interview from the Mission recording studio he owns and operates. “It’s affected every part of our lives in the most devastating way you could imagine.
“It has affected my marriage and it has wreaked havoc with my two other sons, who worshipped the ground that Corbin walked on.
“He was their role model and their inspiration and they aren’t the same kids since this happened. “Marco was the one his younger brothers looked to for guidance and they haven’t been able to deal with the fact he’s gone. Our entire family has been decimated by this.”
Corbin said he and his family were initially angry it has taken so long for charges to be laid, but he has tempered that stance now that he realizes the scope of the police investigation.
“It has been very frustrating at times not knowing exactly what was going on because we didn’t have much contact with the police or anyone else since this happened,” he said. “But I do know the police have put a lot of work into this as I was told the (police) file was over 2,500 pages long.
“They have to bring in marina forensic experts and other experts. It has taken a long time, but we are relieved charges have been filed because we didn’t know what was going to happen.”
His son was a “brilliant young man” who had just graduated high school with a 97 per cent average and was excited about beginning his engineering studies in university, he said.
“He was a provincial track and field champion and he had just received two full scholarships to pursue his engineering studies. He and his brothers (Robbie and Tony) played together in their band (The Corbin Brothers) that were starting to gain a lot of attention on the music scene here in the Lower Mainland.
“My son was going to make a huge contribution to society and it all ended in such a senseless way. We haven’t recovered from it three years later and I honestly doubt if we ever will.”
The Corbin Brothers had finished near the top of the PNE Star Search Competition in 2006 and were a Top 10 finalist in the CBC Battle of the Bands competition in 2010.
Being awakened by police to receive the news your teenage son has been killed is every parent’s worst nightmare, he said.
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” he said. “The devastation this has caused to everyone who loved Marco, and there were so many people, is indescribable.
“You can’t put into words what this has done to me and my family. We were a very close family … with three happy and healthy boys who were ready to take on the world and it all disappeared in a matter of seconds. It’s still so hard to believe.”
With charges filed less than a month ago, Corbin said he knows his family is going to have to remain patient as the charges against Symington wind their way through the court system.
Corbin said he doesn’t know when it will happen, but he fully intends to travel to Penticton in the near future to look at the man who is alleged to have taken his son’s life.
“I have to see this person face-to-face,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy, but I just have to do it.”
The Osoyoos Times made several phone calls to Lorne Fisher, the regional Crown counsel for the South Okanagan, relating to this case, but they were not returned.
Penticton lawyer Don Skogstad is representing Symington.