Man pleads guilty after hit-and-run boat collision on Cherokee Lake

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A Southwest Virginia man has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with a boat collision that happened on Cherokee Lake last weekend. 

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency charged Jaime K. Ratcliff of Abingdon with reckless operation of a vessel and failure to render aid. 

SEE ALSO: Juvenile seriously injured in Cherokee Lake crash over holiday weekend

Ratcliff’s pontoon boat struck another pontoon boat in the side near Lakeside Campground after 6 p.m. Saturday, according to TWRA. 

The agency said Ratcliff fled the scene and beached his boat about one mile northeast of the crash site. He then walked back to his camper at Lawson’s Campground where he was arrested a few hours later. 

Ratcliff pleaded guilty to both charges Monday in Hawkins County court. A judge sentenced him to 11-months and 29-days of probation and ordered him to pay restitution for damage to the other vessel plus court costs and $60 in fines.

SEE ALSO: TWRA: No boating-related deaths over Memorial Day weekend

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