Richardson, Aide Leave Scene of Houseboat Accident « The Washington Independent
The New Mexico Independent’s Trip Jennings reports:
Gov. Bill Richardson [D], his chief of staff Brian Condit, budget secretary Katherine Miller and security officers were gone within minutes from the scene of an accident Saturday in which a houseboat was sideswiped and another was smashed into at Elephant Butte State Park, according to an eyewitness.
State officials have cited Condit with operating a vessel in a negligent manner and damaging another person’s property. He was at the helm of the houseboat that caused the accident.
Within three minutes of the houseboat docking the governor’s party took a small boat to shore. There they got into two vehicles and left, said Carl Shaw, Jr. whose houseboat was grazed in Saturday’s accident. [...]
The investigating officers interviewed several witnesses at the marina the same day the accident happened. Many of them appear to recall the same sequence of events, which is recounted in the incident report:
A man later identified as Condit was seen operating “Bloody Mary,” a houseboat owned by Leon “Skip” Fay of Rio Rancho. Condit piloted the houseboat into the marina, but came too close to C-dock, sideswiping Shaw’s houseboat. Then the “Bloody Mary” accelerated. At this point Fay took control from Condit, but it was too late, witnesses said. The houseboat, thrust by momentum, headed across the slip toward D-dock and smashed into a second houseboat, “The Floating Irish.”
According to the incident report, Condit, who called police to report the accident two days later, denied consuming alcohol prior to the crash. Richardson’s office did not respond to The New Mexico Independent’s request for comment. Fay, the owner of the houseboat, and his wife remained at the scene to talk to police.
This post has been updated.