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Middletown Man Charged With Manslaughter in Fatal Boating Accident

Michael J. Antol crashed a powerboat alongside a lake in Union in April, causing the death of a passenger, Richard J. Franas, police said.

A Middletown man is facing felony charges of manslaughter stemming from a fatal boat accident in a Northeastern Connecticut lake in April.

Michael J. Antol, 41, turned himself into the Department of Environmental and Energy Protection’s EnCon Police unit on Friday after learning there was a warrant for his arrest in connection with the boat crash.

According to a DEEP press release, Antol was driving a 17-foot powerboat in Mashapaug Lake in the town of Union on April 21 when the boat allegedly ran aground. WTNH reported at the time that the boat collided with rocks and trees alongside the lake.

There were two other passenger’s aboard Antol’s vessel, one of them being 40-year-old Richard J. Franas Jr., of the Amston section of the town of Hebron. According to the DEEP, Franas sustained serious injuries following the crash and was rescued by first responders who arrived around 11:30 a.m.

Franas was rushed to Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, and later transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Due to the severity of his injuries, the victim died the following day. Antol suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Antol is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter with a vessel, first-degree reckless operation of a vessel and first-degree reckless operation of a vessel while under the influence, as well as five other boating violations. He is due in Rockville Superior Court on Friday.

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