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Article updated: 4/9/2013 7:04 PM

Boat safety plans come from 10-year-old's death

By Mike Riopell

SPRINGFIELD -- After a Bartlett man's guilty plea in the case of her 10-year-old nephew's boating death, state Sen. Julie Morrison is pushing several safety proposals meant to prevent similar accidents in the future.

The Deerfield Democrat was the aunt of Anthony "Tony" Borcia of Libertyville, who was killed last year when he was riding on a tube towed by a pontoon boat and was hit by another motorboat.

The driver that hit Borcia, David Hatyina of Bartlett, pleaded guilty Tuesday of operating the boat with drugs and alcohol in his system.

One of Morrison's plans would revoke for three months the driver's license of someone who's twice convicted of piloting a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"I'm trying to deter reckless behavior," she said.

Now, the law strips offenders of their boating abilities after two convictions. But Morrison's legislation would take away car-driving privileges, too.

"Nobody wants to lose their driver's license," she said.

Her other proposal would require a boat pulling someone behind it to display a red or orange flag to alert other boaters that they're towing someone.

Both of Morrison's proposals are in the preliminary stages to try to win approval at the state Capitol. She said she hopes to have hearings on both plans in the coming weeks.

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