Witness Says Alex West, Others Used Drugs Prior to Fatal Lake George Boating Crash

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Day two of the trial for a man accused of causing the death of a young girl continues in Warren County on Thursday.

Alex West is accused of driving a boat that crashed into another on Lake George last summer, killing 8-year-old Charlotte McCue.

It’s been a long day on the stand for Cara Mia Canale, one of the prosecution’s witnesses who was also on West’s boat the night of the fatal accident.

West left the court before lunch waving off my questions after sitting for several hours listening to the testimony of Canale.

The prosecution’s questions focused largely on the use of drugs and alcohol while on West’s boat during the lake party dubbed as Log Bay Day.

Canale confirmed that she, West, and others on the boat used cocaine and drank the day of the crash.

The questions then led to Canale giving a timeline leading up to and after the crash that killed 8-year-old Charlotte McCue.

“We hit something extremely hard. I did not think it was another boat. I remember going airborne almost,” Canale said.

She says she also remembers hearing screams coming from the boat they hit.

Canale also remembers West saying he had the right of way and wanting to speak with his parents.

West’s mother at one point during this caused a disruption in the courtroom and a bailiff led her out. She returned after one of the many breaks in testimony.

West’s attorney Cheryl Coleman says her client really wanted his mother’s support.

Before lunch Coleman began what turned into a harsh cross-examination of Canale, mostly focusing on her past and current drug use.

Canale was arrested in September of last year for DUI and possession of heroin, a hypodermic needle, and other drugs.

She admitted on the stand to relapsing in her heroin use after the fatal boating crash.

Canale at one point saying she’s on probation then recanted saying she will be on probation. To this,

Coleman questions how she can be trusted.

Coleman continued hammering Canale about her drug use asking if she’s used drugs in the last week. Canale said she used marijuana and suboxone. When Coleman asked if Canale is on drugs during Thursday’s hearing, Canale answered no.

There was also a tense period of questioning concerning a Facebook conversation Canale had regarding getting marijuana shipped from Denver. There were several interruptions and objections eventually leading the judge to break for lunch.


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