Woman responsible for runaway boat crash avoids jail

(Photo Supplied / Steuben County Jail)

A Fort Wayne woman who was responsible for a runaway boat incident that injured several people will spend 18 months on home detention, with a year of that term suspended.

21-year-old Dominique Effinger pleaded guilty in June to one count of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon in regards to when a boat she had been driving went out of control, throwing 10 people – including her – out and proceeding to speed wildly on Lake Gage in July 2017. Police were eventually able to board and take control of the boat.

Steuben County Superior Court Judge William Fee also ordered she pay $110,000 in restitution to those who were hurt. One person suffered a fractured skull in the incident. Police say everyone on the boat had been drinking.

Her attorney says Effinger plans to complete her education at Indiana University, and then “move on to the next thing.”