Bartlett man pleads guilty in fatal boating crash

  • David Hatyina

    David Hatyina

Updated 4/9/2013 5:01 PM

A Bartlett man accused of running over and killing a Libertyville boy with a power boat on the Chain O' Lakes last summer admitted Tuesday that he had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.

David Hatyina, 51, pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated driving under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol during a negotiated plea deal in front of Kane County Judge Clinton Hull.


Hatyina admitted he was intoxicated and had cocaine in his system when the boat his was driving struck and killed 10-year-old Antonio "Tony" Borcia on Petite Lake on July 28, 2012.

Hatyina is due to return to court May 16 for a pre-sentencing hearing. Sentencing is scheduled for June 13 and 14.

Hull, who was appointed to try the case because of Borcia's family ties to another Lake County judge, told Hatyina he could be sentenced up to a maximum of 14 years behind bars, or could receive probation should Hull determine there was "outstanding circumstances" in the case.

Hatyina remains free on $1 million bond.

He man was initially charged with five counts of aggravated operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol and drugs that resulted in death, and four counts of reckless homicide, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ari Fisz said. Those counts were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Borcia's family members -- who did not wish to comment following the hearing -- wept openly in court after Hatyina pleaded guilty, then again when Fisz reviewed the circumstances surrounding the boy's death.

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Borcia and his 12-year-old sister were riding an inner tube towed by a boat operated by his father, Jim Borcia, about 4:35 p.m. when a wave caused the boy to fall into the water.

Borcia's father immediately turned the boat to pick up his son, Fisz said, but Hatyina's 29-foot Baja speed boat was beared down on the boy at 40 mph despite many people waving their arms to get his attention.

"The defendant did not slow down or alter course ... he hit Tony Borcia, killing him," Fisz said in court.

Investigators from the Illinois Conservation Police determined through blood samples that Hatyina had a blood alcohol content of between .09 percent and .12 percent, which is more than the legal limit for operating a boat in Illinois.

Blood tests also revealed Hatyina had cocaine in his system at the time of the crash, and that cocaine residue was found on the boat that was inspected and confiscated after the crash, Fisz said.

Hatyina and his attorneys did not comment following the plea deal.

Hatyina and a passenger on the boat, Renee Melbourn of Bartlett, have been named in a wrongful-death civil suit by the family. The suit seeks damages from each Hatyina and Melbourn of more than $50,000 for the boy's mother, Margaret Borcia, as well as more than $50,000 for each person in Tony's immediate family who witnessed his death.

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