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Fargo boat driver who injured another sentenced

Published 11:42am Friday, December 27, 2013

A Fargo man who was driving a boat that hit and injured a man on West McDonald Lake in July 2012 pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday.

Lucas Michael Buerkley, 21, was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with 355 days to be stayed for two years, for gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular homicide or operation. In exchange for the plea, one felony count of criminal vehicular homicide or operation was dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint, Buerkley was driving a boat with a man tubing behind it on the afternoon of July 4, 2012 on West McDonald Lake. Buerkley reportedly told authorities he was circling the tuber with the boat when the prop of the boat motor swung out and hit the man.

Vergas Rescue staff attended to the injured tuber. According to his records from Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, he sustained multiple rib fractures, a partial fracture of the iliac bone from the sacrum, a partial fracture and extensive soft tissue damage to the muscles on the right back and flank.

A preliminary breath test showed Buerkley’s blood alcohol concentration to be 0.096.

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