Boater pleads in deaths of fiancée, child after striking dam


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A man charged in the boating deaths of his fiancee and 3-year-old daughter has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

Authorities say 27-year-old Cody Binkley of Palmyra had smoked marijuana before crashing the boat into Harrisburg’s Dock Street Dam last year.

The May 7 crash dumped Binkley and his two passengers into the Susquehanna River, killing 25-year-old Mary Bredbenner and 3-year-old Madelyn Binkley. Authorities say the girl’s life jacket was not properly secured.

Binkley has said the family was heading to a campsite. He is set to be sentenced in January.

Mary Bredbenner and Madelyn Binkley

Binkley had been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless operation of a watercraft, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, summary boating offenses and others.

The city has since installed warning buoys and lights downstream from the dam.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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