No criminal charges yet in fatal boat crash |

No criminal charges yet in fatal boat crash

Rob Parsons
Special to The Union

Yuba County prosecutors have not yet filed criminal charges against the man accused of killing a Penn Valley mother and daughter in a boating crash on Englebright Lake last September.

The District Attorney's office reportedly is taking a final look at the evidence in the case against Auburn resident Jeffrey Sandow, 53.

Sandow was arrested Sept. 15, 2012, after Yuba County sheriff's deputies said he was drunkenly piloting a motorboat that struck another boat, killing Penn Valley residents Cynthia Peterlin and her 12-year-old daughter, Sophie, on Englebright Lake.

Sandow was not hurt.

He was booked into the Yuba County Jail on suspicion of two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter. Sandow posted a $100,000 bail bond and was released from custody.

District Attorney Pat McGrath retained a marine accident reconstruction expert to assist in the investigation, which added additional time to the review process.

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"The expert's report was just recently received," McGrath said.

Investigators have examined both vessels, correlating their physical evidence and evidence from the scene and reviewed both state and federal inland navigation rules that relate to case, McGrath explained.

Prosecutors are not committing to any specific timetable publicly but said they are getting close to making a final filing decision.

Paul Peterlin, husband and father to the victims, filed a wrongful death suit against Sandow Nov. 29. Paul Peterlin was also injured in the crash.

The suit accuses Sandow of piloting the boat while intoxicated, demonstrating "a conscious and deliberate disregard for the rights and safety of others." It describes Sandow as having "a heavy odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and breath, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech …"

The suit seeks unspecified damages for funeral costs and medical bills, as well as general, punitive and property damages of the infliction of emotional suffering and anguish.

Rob Parsons is a reporter with the Marysville Appeal-Democrat. Contact him at or 749-4785.

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