No Felony Charges in Wakeboarding Death Near Mercer Island

County Prosecutors declined to charge the boat operator involved with the accidental drowning of Islander Nate Bahner on Aug. 10.

The King County Prosecutor's Office said they will not file felony charges against the operator of a boat involved in the Aug. 10 accidental drowning of Nate Bahner.

Spokesman Dan Donohoe said a review of the Seattle Police Department investigation this week determined that there was insufficient evidence to seek a felony conviction for vehicular homicide.

Bahner, 33, accidentally drowned while he was being towed on a wakeboard in Lake Washington, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office. The boat's operator was arrested by Seattle Police at the scene on suspicion of boating under the influence (BUI), but was later released pending further investigation. No charges have been filed.

Mercer Island Patch is withholding the name of the boat operator because no charges have been filed in the case, which was returned to the SPD.

Bahner, a married father of three children, worked as manager of locally-owned LeClercq Marine Construction, and managed two Seattle marinas owned by his father-in-law, Sam LeClercq, according to his obituary. A memorial website was also established in his honor shortly after his death.

A misdemeanor case from SPD investigators could be referred to the Seattle City Attorney's Office in the coming weeks, said Donohoe.


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