Jet ski driver accused of friend's death failed breathalyser test, pleads not guilty

The youth stands accused of  involuntary homicide after accidentally causing his friend's death in a jet ski accident last Wednesday 

A 19-year-old Dutch tourist has denied charges of involuntary homicide after accidentally causing his friend’s death in a jet ski accident in St. George’s bay at St. Julians last Wednesday.

Gerrit Van der Veen appeared before magistrate Aaron Bugeja this morning accused of the involuntary homicide of 19-year-old Mart de Ruiter, also Dutch, and operating a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The accused had failed a breathalyser test soon after the incident but insisted he had not consumed any alcohol that morning, only the night before.

Both the driver of the jet ski and the victim reside in Sliema, the police said. 

Van der Veen pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer Josette Sultana, requested bail.

Inspector Leeroy Balzan Engerer, prosecuting, said that the incident was an unfortunate one, but also rendered a serious offence due to the drink driving. He did not oppose bail.

Magistrate Bugeja granted the boy release from custody against a deposit of €5,000 and a personal guarantee of €15,000.

 

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