Man enters no contest plea in fatal boating accident

By: Channel 8 Newsroom

A Wood River man has pleaded no contest to operating a boat while drunk in a crash that left two North Carolina brothers dead.

41-year-old Brian Packer pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge on Friday. He faces up to six months in jail when he's sentenced on Dec. 7.

In exchange for his plea, the state dismissed two manslaughter charges.     

Authorities say Packer was operating a pontoon boat on July 3, 2011 that hit two brothers on a tube at Sherman Reservoir. The crash killed 12-year-old Joshua Rowley and 19-year-old Matthew McAlexander, both of Kernersville, N.C. They were visiting family in Nebraska.

Prosecutors say Packer had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit at the time of the crash.