A Boston boat owner and construction company owner has been charged with manslaughter after his boat ‘Make it Go Away’ struck a navigation marker in Boston harbor, catapulting five people into the water and killing a 27-year-old woman.
Ryan Denver, 38, also faces charges of three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
Jeanica Julce, 27, was one of several people riding in the Make it Go Away in the early morning hours of July 17 in Boston Harbor, as Denver was operating the 37-foot-long, 17,000-pound boat. At around 2:50 am, it struck a large, distinctively marked fixed navigational aid head-on.
The collision was so harsh that the boat sank, sending all eight people onboard – including Julce and Denver – into the harbor.
Police worked with the United States Coast Guard, Massachusetts State Police and EMS to rescue those who’d gone into the water. Denver and six other passengers were gotten out, five of whom were taken to area hospitals.
Jeanica Julce, 27, was one of several people riding in the Make it Go Away in the early morning hours of July 17 in Boston Harbor
Ryan Denver, 38, seen being recovered from the wreckage the morning of the incident, also faces charges of three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury
Denver’s attorney’s have claimed that he was sober while operating the boat and the crash was an accident
The ‘Make it Go Away’ seen following the crash in the Harbor
First responders could not recover Julce and didn’t find her until 10 am, when she was pronounced dead.
The indictment against Denver comes after an investigation by local police and Suffolk County prosecutors.
‘Jeanica was a vibrant young woman with a beautiful life ahead of her,’ said Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins in a statement. ‘She deserved better than to lose everything because of another individual’s recklessness. That her life ended in this manner is heartbreaking. My office is here to support her loved ones and the surviving victims of this crash to ensure they receive the support and resources they deserve.’
Denver’s attorney Michael Connolly put out a statement on behalf of his client, saying he was ‘devastated’ by the loss of his ‘close friend’ Julce, but that it was an accident.
‘We are dismayed that the District Attorney’s Office has nonetheless chosen to indict Ryan, based on unreliable data, in what amounts to a serious overcharge by that office,’ Connolly said in a statement.
His office said that in their own review of the available evidence, they found that Denver operated the boat reasonably and was sober and argued that the marker isn’t illuminated or marked sufficiently for recreational boaters.
Denver has been profiled in a business magazine in connection with his New Hampshire businesses.
Denver has been profiled in a business magazine in connection with his New Hampshire contracting businesses, known as Select Companies
Julce’s father said he hopes to see criminal prosecution in connection with his daughter’s death
Boston police, along with the US Coast Guard, state troopers and local EMS, spent hours on the search
‘Ryan Denver is an admired businessman, who, along with his team at Select Demo, has created a trusted and accomplished company that has given back to the community in many ways,’ Connolly continued. ‘He should not be subjected to criminal charges as a result of this terrible accident.’
Julce’s father Wilfred told the Boston Globe he was expecting criminal charges, but doesn’t think Denver targeted his daughter.
“I don’t think he went out there and wanted to kill the people,” Julce said. “I don’t know if he [was] drunk or not, but [he] is not a responsible driver. … I don’t know the guy to be honest with you. I don’t know what kind of guy he is. I have never met him.”
Denver is scheduled to be arraigned on November 19.