A Pleasant Valley man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless use of a watercraft in an August boat crash that killed a Moline couple in the waters off LeClaire.
James Thiel, 44, turned himself in Tuesday morning for the deaths of Craig Verbeke, 61, of Moline, and Anita Pinc, 52, of Moline, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR had previously confirmed that a juvenile was driving the boat, a 35-foot Triton when it hit Pinc and Verbeke's boat, a 19-foot Bayliner.
According to court documents, Thiel unintentionally contributed to Verbeke and Pinc's death by "acting in a manner likely to cause death or serious injury by allowing his boat to be driven at a high rate of speed in an area of high boating traffic, thereby participating and aiding in the operation of a boat in a careless, reckless or negligent manner resulting in a collision with another boat."
The Triton was owned by Thiel's company, Thiel Truck Center.
Thiel was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, a class D felony that carries a prison sentence of up to five years, two counts of involuntary manslaughter — misdemeanor, one count of reckless use of a watercraft and one count of operation of an unregistered watercraft.