Bismarck News

Plea Deal in Strawberry Lake Jet Ski Accident

The man involved in a deadly jet ski accident on Strawberry Lake that killed a young girl in June has pled guilty in the case.

Dean Bartsch has pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of Prohibited Operation of a Personal Water Craft.
In the plea agreement Bartsch acknowledges operating the jet ski without having the lanyard-type cutoff switch attached to him.

As part of the plea agreement Bartsch will pay a fine of $475 and he will be on unsupervised probation for 360 days.
If Bartsch doesn't commit any crimes during that probation the guilty plea will be withdrawn and the case dismissed.

In June Bartsch was driving a jet ski that struck an inner tube that carried two 10-year-old girls.
One of the young girls was killed in the accident, the other seriously injured.

The 2003 Kawasaki jet ski was equipped with a kill switch, which is activated when a lanyard is pulled.
Court documents say Bartsch told investigators after the accident that he had the lanyard in his hand when he fell off.
Testing done to the jet ski after the accident showed that the engine should have been killed if the lanyard was attached to Bartsch.

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