No Criminal Charges in Boating Accident; DA Cites Tragic Consequences

By | July 30, 2023



Criminal charges will not be pursued in the boating accident that led to the drowning death of a 15-year-old boy. The District Attorney declined to pursue an indictment against the boat operator, Timothy Brewster, stating that she could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Brewster’s boat operation was reckless. Brewster’s boat capsized in the mouth of Nestucca Bay while crabbing with his two sons. The 15-year-old boy was not wearing a lifejacket at the time. The decision not to prosecute Brewster was influenced by the loss of his son and the low penalty associated with conviction. accident-drowning/article_0f227194-2d5b-11ee-9b94-a30fead2107b.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Tillamook Headlight-Herald reported

The Tillamook District Attorney, Aubrey Olson, has announced that criminal charges will not be sought in the boating accident that occurred on July 7 in the mouth of Nestucca Bay, which resulted in the drowning death of a 15-year-old boy. Despite the Sheriff’s department recommending an indictment against Timothy Brewster, the father of the boy, Olson has decided not to pursue charges. She stated that she did not feel she could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Brewster’s boat operation was reckless under Oregon statute, and that Brewster had already been punished enough by the loss of his son.

The tragedy unfolded when Brewster and his sons, aged 15 and 17, were crabbing in a 12-foot aluminum boat. As the boat capsized, all three occupants were thrown into the water. Only Brewster’s 17-year-old son was wearing a lifejacket, while the 15-year-old was not. The three began swimming towards the shore, but the younger boy quickly began to struggle and panic. Brewster had to push his son away to avoid drowning himself.

After reviewing the investigative report and video evidence, Olson concluded that Brewster had misjudged a wave, leading to the boat capsizing. She stated that the loss of life should be the bigger deterrent than a criminal conviction. Undersheriff Matt Kelly disagreed with Olson’s decision, believing that the charge of reckless boating could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, Kelly stated that violations for marine violations committed by Brewster, such as not having lifejackets for all passengers, will be issued..