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Renton man's bail set at $500,000 in boating death on Lake Washington | UPDATE

Bail was set at $500,000 Friday for a 46-year-old Renton man arrested for investigation of homicide by motorcraft in a collision Wednesday night between two boats on Lake Washington that killed a Seattle woman.

The Renton Reporter is not naming the man because he hasn't been charged. He's being held in the King County Jail in downtown Seattle; his next court hearing in King County Superior Court is at 2:30 p.m. July 21 in courtroom 1 at the jail.

Additional charges are possible once investigators receive the results of blood-alcohol tests, according to Patrick Michaud, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department.

The victim, 33-year-old Melissa Protz, taught at Assumption-St. Bridget School in Seattle. Two others who were on the sailboat with her were treated at Haborview Medical Center for their injuries.

The collision between the boat the Renton man was piloting and the sailboat occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday about 1,000 feet off Lake Washington Boulevard near the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle, according to probable-cause documents.

Because of a windless evening, the sailboat was powered by a small trolling motor, going about 1 knot. The passengers heard a boat traveling at a high rate of speed, perhaps as fast as 50 mph.

The motorboat collided with the sailboat, killing Protz and injuring the two others. Witnesses didn't see any lights on the sailboat but heard the crash and people screaming.

Another boat in the area towed the sailboat to shore as CPR was performed on Protz.

The motorboat's driver called 911 to report that he and his family were stuck on a motorboat where the collision occurred, according to court documents. The Seattle Police Department Harbor Unit towed the boat to shore.

A Seattle Police officer interviewed the Renton man, noting that an odor of alcohol was coming from his breath and speech was slurred. He told the officer he and his family were on their way home from boating and dinner at a Seattle restaurant.

The man told the officer he hadn't been drinking, according to court documents. He refused to submit to any tests to check his sobriety, according to documents. He was arrested, taken to a Seattle Police precinct and placed in a holding cell. A search warrant was requested.

According to court documents, Seattle Police investigators determined the Renton man was driving at a reckless speed and under the influence of alcohol. He should have known not to operate a motorboat at a high rate of speed because of the likelihood of sailboats and other boats on the water, according to documents.

ORIGINAL STORY

A 46-year-old Renton man will appear in court Friday afternoon for investigation of homicide by motorcraft in the boating death of a Seattle woman Wednesday on Lake Washington.

The hearing is at 2:30 p.m. at the King County Jail in downtown Seattle, where he is being held.

The Renton Reporter is not naming the man because he hasn't been charged. A judge will decide today whether there's probable cause to hold him.

Additional charges are possible once investigators receive the results of blood-alcohol tests, according to Patrick Michaud, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department.

The victim, 33-year-old Melissa Protz, taught at Assumption-St. Bridget School in Seattle.

Two others were treated at a hospital.

According to the Seattle Police Department, the Renton man was piloting a motorboat on Lake Washington off the 400 block of Lake Washington Boulevard in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle.

The motorboat and a sailboat collided at about 10:30 p.m., disabling both.

A passing boater towed the disabled sailboat to a dock in the Leschi neighborhood, according to police, where firefighters treated the injured.

Seattle Police Harbor Units towed the motorboat to the same dock, where the Seattle Police Department's Traffic Collision Investigation Squad conducted the investigation.

The Renton man was arrested at the scene, according to Michaud.

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