Posted on 08 August 2012 by Keith Lacey
The police investigation into the death of a B.C. teenager who was struck by a boat while out tubing on Osoyoos Lake almost one year ago is continuing as investigators have a duty to “conduct investigations methodically and accurately, especially when it pertains to a situation involving loss of life,” said Osoyoos RCMP Cpl. Jason Bayda.
Marco Corbin, 18, was killed instantly when hit by a boat while out tubing the afternoon of August 16, 2011 on the south part of Osoyoos Lake. Corbin was in Osoyoos with three other friends and he and two of his friends were on the tube when struck by a boat.
The driver of the boat, an Alberta man who was 28 years of age at the time of the incident, was interviewed by police at the scene, said Bayda.
Because this was an accident that occurred on the water, the RCMP had to bring in a “marina specialist” with experience in reconstructing scenes in the hours and days following the incident to conduct a thorough investigation, said Bayda.
“There are only a couple of these specialists in the entire province and when he arrived he conducted a thorough examination of the scene and the boat involved and he gathered numerous samples from the scene,” he said. “As far as I know, those samples are still being examined and a thorough investigation is continuing.”
All parties involved in this incident were quickly identified and the driver of the boat was tested for drugs and alcohol at the scene, said Bayda.
The name of the driver of the boat won’t be released unless criminal charges are filed as is police procedure because all Canadians are presumed innocent until proven guilty, he said.
Cpl. Mike Fields of the RCMP is the officer in charge of this particular investigation, he said.
Corbin’s mother, Elena DiGiovanni-Corbin told the Osoyoos Times that she has heard very little from police since the incident took place.
“The police have not contacted me,” she said. “I understand everything is still under investigation and that’s about all I know.”
While she understands investigations of this nature do take some time, DiGiovanni-Corbin said she and her family are waiting patiently to hear the final results of the police investigation.
“All we’ve been told is the driver of the boat was someone from Alberta and he was 27 or 28 years of age,” she said. “We’ve been told he picked up a bunch of his sisters on the shore just before the accident. I’ve been told a couple of the older sisters tried to perform CPR on Marco.
“I have only read in the newspaper that alcohol might have been involved and we won’t know until the police investigation is completed. I can say the coroner’s report clearly indicated my son didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system when he was killed.”
Until all of the scientific testing is completed and officially released, there’s not much the police can do or say, said Bayda.
“There were a chain of events that took place that day and the investigation is trying to put together exactly what happened and it takes some time,” he said. “What we don’t want to do is assume anything. We have to be cautious and methodical in investigations of this nature because there was a loss of life involved and we have to get it right.”
In his many years of police work, investigations into accidental deaths often take more than a year, said Bayda.
“We understand that the family and loved ones want some answers, but the investigation has to be methodical, thorough and complete and we have to have the answers to every question that’s going to be asked,” he said.
DiGiovanni-Corbin said the coroner who handled her son’s case was “an extremely nice and compassionate man” who did a thorough job during his investigation following her son’s death.
While the family would like some answers to key questions, she said she understands police have to be very thorough in an investigation of this nature.
“We know we have to be patient, but it’s difficult when you still don’t know a year later exactly what happened,” she said.
There haven’t been any reported incidents of any serious collisions on Osoyoos Lake so far during the summer of 2012 .