Man avoids jail time for role in deadly Saratoga Lake boat crash

It was an emotional day in Saratoga County Court Thursday, as a 20-year-old man was sentenced for his role in the death of a young man who jumped off his boat during an outing on Saratoga Lake.

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Blake Heflin is getting three years’ probation in a case that prosecutors called incredibly tragic all around.

Heflin was drunk while operating a boat that hit 20-year-old Ian Gerber on Saratoga Lake on July 4.

It was a day of young people having a good time, but at about 7 p.m. that night, Gerber lost his life.

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Heflin had pleaded guilty to boating while intoxicated and assault. Now he appeared before Judge James Murphy in Saratoga County Court to be sentenced.

Prosecutors say this was a tough case, and a tragic one.

Heflin did not make a statement in court Thursday. His attorney said there is a pending civil action.

He is also not allowed to operate a boat for one year.

In a powerful victim impact statement, Gerber’s mother forgave Heflin for what he did.

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Hear Heflin’s attorney explain how that speech left his client in tears by watching the video.