Boater Gets 10 Years for Crash That Killed Boy

David Hatyina, 51, faced 14 years in prison for killing Tony Borcia

By BJ Lutz and Kim Vatis
|  Friday, Jun 14, 2013  |  Updated 6:57 PM CDT
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"The sorrow and regret and remorse unfortunately comes too late for everyone, for you, for your family and for the Borcias," Kane County Judge Clint Hull told David Hatyina.

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Hatyina: 'So Help Me God, I'm Sorry'

The man who ran over a 10-year-old boy last year in the waters of Petite Lake read a tearful statement during his sentencing hearing in Lake County.

Painful Impact Statements Read in Case Against Boater

David Hatyina has previously pleaded guilty to charges of operating his boat while intoxicated and running over 10-year-old Tony Borcia in the waters of Petite Lake. Kim Vatis reports.
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The man who killed a 10-year-old boy while driving a speedboat last summer on Petite Lake was sentenced Friday afternoon to 10 years in prison.

"The sorrow and regret and remorse unfortunately comes too late for everyone, for you, for your family and for the Borcias," Kane County Judge Clint Hull told David Hatyina.

Hull said he took into account victim impact statements presented a day earlier by family members of Tony Borcia, as well as Hatyina's own words of grief and remorse. Still, Hull said he had to consider Hatyina's previous conviction of operating his boat while intoxicated. That incident, about 15 years ago, wasn't deadly but clearly frustrated the judge.

Hatyina earlier in the day apologized to the Borcia family and cried on the stand.

“I feel so badly," he wept. "The pain will never go away. ... "So help me God, I am so sorry." 

Hull, a 51-year-old father of a girl with Down syndrome, told the court that he now has difficulty sleeping and said he will never forgive himself for what happened on the water last July.

He previously pleaded guilty to charges of operating his boat while intoxicated and running over Borcia. Authorities said Hatyina hit the boy at roughly 40 miles per hour. They said he was so drunk and high on cocaine he couldn't recite the alphabet when he was questioned.

The boy's family walked out of the Lake County courtroom satisfied that they got the justice they so desperately wanted for the fifth grader who loved sports and had dreams of working in law enforcement.

"No justice can bring what we really wanted -- to bring Tony back to us -- and so, given all the factors considered, we believe that justice has been served," said the boy's father, Jim Borcia.

A day earlier, Jim Borcia recounted to the judge his son's final moments.

"I saw Tony with his white and red life jacket on, waving his arms," he said during his impact statement. "I said a quick prayer to God to save Tony when the boat was bearing down on him. ... When we got to where the life jacket was, the life jacket was bobbing in the water. I looked into the water and all I could see was a part of [Tony's] spine."

One of Borcia's sisters tearfully said she once put a knife to her throat in a suicide attempt, wanting so badly to be reunited with her little brother.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources officer Christ Winters testified that Hatyina operated a 29-foot baha boat named Purple Haze. Winters said three different types of alcoholic beverages were found on the boat.

Borcia's sister, Kaeleigh Borcia, said that final inner tube ride of the day was supposed to be hers but she gave it to her brother at his request. She called that decision "the biggest mistake of my life."

"That was supposed to be in the water. That should have been me," she cried.

Hull, a Kane County Judge, was appointed to try the case because of Borcia's family ties to another Lake County judge.

Hatyina and his attorneys scheduled a July 18 hearing where they'll attempt to get the sentence reduced. If that fails, Hatyina will immediately be taken into custody.

He remained free on $1 million bond.

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