Chattanooga tugboat operator indicted in deaths of fishermen - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga tugboat operator indicted in deaths of fishermen

Warren Luetke Warren Luetke

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (Times Free Press)-- A grand jury indicted a tugboat operator on two counts of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the deaths of two fishermen whose boat was hit by a barge last summer, according to court records.

Warren Luetke, 39, was negligent as the tugboat operator for the Bearcat, owned by Chattanooga-based Serodino Inc., when the 647-foot tugboat-barge combination collided with a fishing boat occupied by three men, according to the indictment filed Wednesday and previous Times Free Press archives.

Tim Spidle, 45, of Elizabethton, Tenn., and Richard Wilkey, 52, of Soddy-Daisy, were killed in the June 19 accident on the Tennessee River in Chickamauga Lake after they were fishing on a 1977 16-foot Glastron.

Now more than six months later, after investigators with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency consulted with the Hamilton County district attorney's office, criminal charges were filed.

Working Together for You: Read more from our partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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