Witnesses testify about what they saw of deadly Berlin boating crash


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Testimony continued Tuesday in the trial of a physician from Poland who is accused of causing a deadly boating crash, then speeding away from the scene.

Dustin Seese, of Beloit, said he and others were returning from a night of fishing on the Berlin Reservoir when something caught his attention.

“It seemed like a Bayliner boat and I just seen lights on it and it was, you know, just going so fast,” Seese said. “I kind of looked at my buddy and said, ‘You know, that guy’s gonna kill somebody.'”

Seese was one of a number of witnesses in the trial of Dr. Joseph Yurich, who faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and assault from a crash involving a fishing boat in May of 2015.

He’s accused of crashing his power boat into another carrying two fishermen, killing one of them. Prosecutors claim Yurich had been drinking at the time.

Moments after seeing that speeding boat, Seese testified that people fishing from the 224 causeway over the water started shouting that there had been a crash.

Seese said he got to the scene first and spotted one of the victims in the water.

“I could see him and I said, ‘What happened?’ And he said…’A big f*****g boat just blew us out of the water and I can’t find my friend.'”

Bruce Lindamood was hurt but survived the crash. The friend he was looking for, Brian Cuppett, died.

“I jumped in the water and proceeded to pull him out,” Seese said.

After both victims were brought to shore, Seese said he asked Lindamood what happened.

“He said that the guy hit him and stopped long enough to cuss him out,” Seese testified. “I said, ‘What did he say?’ And he said, ‘What the f*** are you guys doing out here?'”

While Seese never witnessed the crash, Jennifer Kingsley said she saw and heard it from the shore.

“Then there was some arguing about lights on the boats and then a man yelling for his friend and for help,” she said.

None of Tuesday morning’s witnesses identified Yurich as the driver of the power boat.

His lawyers claim the defendant thought he hit a rock and left the scene, afraid his boat would sink.

Yurich faces mandatory prison time if he’s convicted.