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Iowa DNR: Juvenile was operating boat that killed two in LeClaire

Iowa DNR: Juvenile was operating boat that killed two in LeClaire

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Nearly eight months after a boating crash in LeClaire killed two people, few details have been revealed by the agency investigating the crash, the Iowa DNR.

Dr. Anita L. Pinc

Dr. Anita L. Pinc

Craig Verbeke


Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said Friday he does not yet know when he will have a decision on whether anyone is charged in the crash and said in February he did not yet have the Department of Natural Resource's final report.

But the DNR on Tuesday confirmed that witnesses of the Aug. 16 double-fatal collision were correct when they said a juvenile was driving the larger boat that appeared to them to have run over the top of the smaller vessel.

The smaller boat was occupied by Dr. Anita Pinc, 52, of Moline, who died at the scene, and her fiance, Craig Verbeke, 61, also of Moline, who died at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics three days later.

The DNR previously said the larger boat was owned by James Thiel Sr., of Pleasant Valley. On Tuesday, an agency spokesman said the boat was owned by his business, Thiel Truck Center, also in Pleasant Valley.

Witnesses on the LeClaire levee that Sunday evening said it appeared to them the Thiel boat was racing another boat — a third vessel — when the crash occurred. The DNR has not confirmed the presence of a third boat nor its possible role.

Pinc and Verbeke were in a 19-foot Bayliner, and Thiel's boat was a 35-foot Triton.

In Iowa, it is legal for children between 12 and 18 to operate a boat. Those in that age group, however, must carry their boater-safety certification with them. The DNR's investigation is expected to include details on whether the minor was legally operating the Triton.


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