Family members of two people who were killed in a boat accident near Treasure Island in 2005 are distraught after the driver of the boat, who had been drinking at the time of the accident, was not arrested at the time of the incident.

Judy and Jim Dowd’s daughter, Corey Vincent, and her friend Joe Battista were killed in a 2005 accident while riding a personal watercraft near John’s Pass.

19 year old Corey Vincent and 23 year old Joe Battista were killed instantly in the boat accident near John’s Pass, after the boat in which they were traveling collided with another vessel. The driver of the second boat, Miguel Alvaro, sped from the scene after the accident occurred, and was eventually chased down by another boat captain.

According to eye witness reports from the scene, Alvaro was operating a 29 foot catamaran, the La Guira and sped into the path of Vincent and Battista’s boat. There was no time for the two young college students to react.

When police boarded Alvaro’s boat, they found twelve empty beer cans. Alvaro appeared inebriated. However, the police officers did not arrest Alvaro at the scene, instead allowing him to return home without an alcohol test.

A seven month long investigation was then carried out by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the results of which indicated that Alvaro should be charged with two counts of manslaughter as well as additional charges related to leaving the scene of the accident and operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. If found guilty, Alvaro could face up to 35 years in jail. However, by the time the results of the investigation were released, Alvaro had fled the country and remains a wanted fugitive. It is thought that Alvaro is now living in his native country of Venezuela.

The family of Corey Vincent are astounded by the failure of police officials on the day their daughter passed away. Vincent’s stepfather, Jim Dowd, blames the investigators for not arresting Alvaro immediately following the incident. ‘For the life of me, I couldn’t understand it,’ said Dowd.

The investigators defended their actions in the case, saying that the way they handled the accident and its investigation was routine. According to police authorities, drivers that are suspected of manslaughter following a boat or car accident are often not arrested at the scene, and are only charged once an investigation has been completed.

According to the police who worked on the case, Alvaro was not considered a flight risk as he had family and business interests in Florida.


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