Renton man pleads not guilty in Lake Washington boating fatality

A 46-year-old Renton man pleaded not guilty to homicide by watercraft and assault by watercraft in a collision July 16 on Lake Washington that killed a Seattle school teacher.

Richard Anthony Hicks, 46, a real-estate agent, entered the plea Monday morning in King County Superior Court in Seattle.

He was released from the King County Jail in Seattle July 21 after posting $250,000 bail.

The collision between a powerboat he was piloting and a disabled sailboat with seven passengers aboard occurred at about 10:30 p.m. off the Seattle's Leschi neighborhood.

Two passengers were injured and 33-year-old Melissa Protz was killed.

According to court documents, Seattle Police investigators determined that Hicks 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.

A case setting is Aug. 18.

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