Libertyville family relives horrible moments after son was killed on Chain O' Lakes
Jim Borcia said he can't shake the memory of his 10-year-old son's mangled body in the water moments after he was run over by a speed boat on Petite Lake last July.
During his heart-wrenching victim impact statement, the father of Tony Borcia of Libertyville said he feels pain every time he sees a father and son playing baseball.
"My love of baseball and coaching baseball is gone. Every time I see a dad playing catch with his kid, it's like a knife in my stomach," Borcia testified Thursday. "Tony was not only my son, he was my best friend."
Borcia was one of several family members who testified in front of a packed courtroom and Kane County Judge Clinton Hull at the start of the two-day sentencing hearing for David Hatyina, 51, of Bartlett.
In April, Hatyina pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in the July 28, 2012 crash that killed Tony Borcia.
Hatyina admitted he was intoxicated and had cocaine in his system while piloting his "Purple Haze" powerboat that ran over the boy on the Chain O' Lakes.
Hull, who was appointed to try the case because of Borcia's family ties to another Lake County judge, could sentence Hatyina up to 14 years in prison.
Hatyina remains free on $1 million bond.
He 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. Those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Borcia's family members wept openly in court Thursday as the siblings who were at the lake that day described the horrific and chaotic scene moments after Hatyina's boat struck the boy.
"I just want to be a normal 13-year-old," Tony's sister, Erin Borcia said. "I just want to live a normal life and not relive July 28 over and over again."
Tony and Erin, then 12, were riding on an inner tube towed by a boat operated by their father about 4:35 p.m. when a wave caused Tony to fall into the water.
Jim Borcia immediately turned the boat to pick up his son, but Hatyina's 29-foot Baja beared down and ran over Tony, even though he was wearing a reflective life jacket and waving his arms frantically.
Erin Borcia said she has vivid memories of seeing the boat roll over her brother, and seeing him dead in the water.
"I will never step foot on a boat again," she said.
Investigators from the Illinois Conservation Police determined through blood samples that Hatyina had a blood alcohol content of between .09 percent and .12 percent when operating the boat just before the crash. Blood tests also revealed Hatyina had cocaine in his system.
"I watched Mr. Hatyina not do a single thing (after the crash.) He didn't jump in the water. He didn't say he was sorry ..." Tony's sister, Kaeleigh Borcia said. "Mr. Hatyina is the sole man to be blamed in this entire ordeal."