TYLER, Texas (KLTV) — 10:25 a.m. Update — Hunter Metlin, cousin of Amber, is called to the stand. Hunter lives within walking distance of the pier where Hampton’s boat crashed. He said he saw the boat go fast, which was not unusual for boats on the lake, but then the boat turned around and hit the bridge. Hunter Metlin said people had no time to react when they saw the boat coming towards them, not even enough time to get up. He said he estimated the boat was going 40-50 miles per hour.
After the boat impact, Hunter Metlin responded by pulling the children to safety and soon after he saw Roberto’s body surface. He then describes the gruesome details of the teenager’s injuries and believes that Roberto was killed instantly.
10:00 am update – A new witness is called, Amber Metlin, who was at the lake the day of the incident. Metlin said she got her children to safety before the boat crashed into the pier. She said she heard a woman’s voice in the boat calling on people to “get out of the way”. Metlin said it was only a few seconds from when she heard “getting out of the way” and when the boat hit the pier. She said she remembered there was another family at the pier with four or five children who couldn’t get out of the way.
Metlin said she saw that it was Roberto who had been killed and everyone was in shock at what had happened. The dock was in pieces and the boat “just went and went”. She said it looked like the boat was traveling at full speed before impact and never slowed down.
Sentencing has begun for a Tyler man who pleaded guilty in connection with the 2019 boating death of a teenager.
Jeffrey Joe Hampton, 33, pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter by intoxication in connection with the June 2, 2019 death of 14-year-old Roberto Carlos Bermejo Hernandez, who died after being hit by Hampton’s boat while playing with his friends and family in the water at Lakeway Harbour. Hampton was charged with fleeing the scene after punching Hernandez.
A Texas game warden is the first witness to testify Monday as the sentencing phase begins. The manager described the scene upon arrival, saying Hernandez had a sheet draped over him and parts of the teenager’s body were found on the pier. The manager said Hampton did not stop to check on anyone after the incident and fled the scene. The manager also said he was told the boat was going full throttle when it hit the jetty with people on the dock and in the water.
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