Ogden » Weber County authorities this week released the tape of a dramatic 911 call from a man who tried to rescue a dying woman hit by a motor boat while swimming last year in Pineview Reservoir.
The tape was played last week during a 2nd District Court preliminary hearing for the three boaters, who are charged with misdemeanors in connection with the death of 49-year-old Esther Fujimoto.
Last August, Vaughn Anderson, held a cellphone in one hand and Fujimoto’s dying body in the other during the desperate emergency call.
"I can’t pull her in the boat," a panicked Anderson told an emergency dispatcher. "She’s cut bad."
As the call went on, Anderson grew increasingly frantic.
"I don’t know what to do," he cried.
He begged the woman to stay with him; he asked her for her name. He watched as patrol cars zoomed past and pleaded with the dispatcher to tell them to turn down his street.
"They went past again!" he yelled.
He cried and cursed as the wind and swells, some a foot tall with whitecaps, pushed him and his boat and Fujimoto around the Spring Creek inlet.
Anderson, who has lived near Pineview Reservoir’s shores for most of life, testified in court that the sound of motorboats had become "background noise" that he barely notices. But on the evening of Aug. 21, 2011, screams, at least three of them, caught his attention.
He ran to a knoll overlooking the water and saw three men in a boat. Twice, Anderson said, he heard the men say, "Hey, lady, are you OK?" And when the boat left, heading west toward the setting sun, he saw someone bobbing in the water.
Anderson rowed out to the woman, some 300 feet off the shoreline, and called 911 to report she had been horribly injured.
The injuries were inflicted by a boat occupied by Colton Raines, 22, Robert Cole Boyer, 30, and Skyler Shepherd, 22 — who were ordered to stand trial following last week’s hearing.
All three are charged with class A misdemeanor obstructing justice. Raines and Shepherd also are charged with class A misdemeanor reckless endangerment and class B misdemeanor failure to render aid.
The men had spent Aug. 21 wakeboarding with friends and later hanging out at a place they called "Party Cove." Those who were with them told investigators there was a cooler filled with cans of beer, whipped cream flavored vodka and spiced rum, according to testimony Thursday. Raines and Boyer allegedly smoked marijuana, though none of the men tested positive for the drug roughly 10 days later.
At the end of the day, one group of friends left the cove in their boat and headed back to the pullout. But Raines wanted to make "one more run" through another part of the lake, Weber County sheriff’s detective Don Kelly testified.
As Raines steered the boat for a loop through the Spring Creek inlet, he swerved abruptly and stopped. "Did you see that?" the man reportedly asked.
With Raines too shaken to drive, Shepherd took the wheel and circled the boat back toward Fujimoto to ask if she was all right. In an interview, Shepherd told Kelly that Fujimito said, "Yeah," and then grunted. The men said they thought she was angry with them for coming so close to her, according to testimony.Next Page >
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