On Saturday, June 11th this year, at around 11:00 pm., onlookers from the Sodus Point County Park contacted police when then they heard what they believed was a boat accident out on the Bay.
Upon arrival in the area where the crash was heard, Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputies and members of the United States Coast Guard found a vessel had collided with a cement break wall. The vessel, a 26 foot pleasure craft, had driven directly into and partially over the breakwall that separates Lake Ontario from Sodus Bay.
Responding officers found Lawrence E. Wiegele, age 49, of 7749 East Port Bay Road in the Town of Wolcott and his wife, Anne Marie Wiegele on board. Both were seriously injured. Police, assisted by Sodus Point and Sodus Ambulances, extricated the two boaters. Both were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and eventually released.
On Thursday (9/22), the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney completed their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident. Deputies stated that Lawrence Weigele was intoxicated and driving at excessive speeds at the time of the accident. His blood alcohol concentration was well above the legal limit at the time of the crash.
It is alleged that, as Weigele attempted to exit Sodus Bay and traverse into Lake Ontario, he did so in a reckless manner. He sped through a marked speed limit and completely missed the mouth of the channel. He struck the break wall and his boat eventually came to rest on top of it.
The Grand Jury charged Wiegele, with the Penal Law felonies of Vehicular Assault Second Degree and Vehicular Assault First Degree, both involving his operating a Vessel while Intoxicated and thereby causing serious physical injury to the passenger on his boat, Anne Marie Wiegele.
Lawrence Wiegele was also charged with violating five different sections of New York’s Navigation Law for the manner in which he operated the boat, including: Operating a Vessel Under the Influence of Alcohol; two counts of Reckless Operation of a Vessel; Speeding in a Vessel and Operating a Vessel on Sodus Bay in an Unlawful Manner.
Weigele has pled innocent to the charges before Wayne County Court Judge Daniel Barrett. Barrett set bail on the charges at $10,000 cash/$20,000 bond and remanded Weigele to the custody of the Wayne County Jail.
Records show Lawrence Wiegele is currently on Parole for his 2015 conviction of Driving While Intoxicated.