Driver in deadly boating accident sentenced to 3 1/2 years

LANCASTER, VA (WWBT) – A former Richmond fire captain will go to prison 3 1/2 years in a deadly boating accident. Steve Nixon pled to aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the death of Amanda Brady.

Nixon was sentenced to 19 years behind bars; most of the time was suspended. Today in Lancaster County Nixon was emotional especially as he heard from fellow firefighters and family members that spoke up on his behalf.

Family members walked out of the courtroom in tears, the end of a long road following this tragic accident on the Rappahannock River last July that took the life of Henrico school teacher Amanda Brady and injured nine others.

"This is something that Steve will live with for the rest of his life," said Terry Sharp.

Terry Sharp is the family pastor. He's known Steve Nixon for quite some time.

"Steve has a very positive attitude and he is in hopes that this will not define his life. No doubt it has affected his life," Sharp said.

Today in court Nixon took the stand and said he did not ever recall seeing a flashing light on the channel marker he hit. He also said he only had about five to six drinks all day before the deadly crash that killed Brady. She was engaged to Nixon's younger brother Patrick. Brady's dad wrote a letter to the Commonwealth's Attorney back in February and said he and his wife have forgiven Steve. They said the outcome was better than it could have been.

"This was a tough case for Mr. Nixon, tough case for the judge, for everybody involved. We're glad it's over and I'm relieved with the outcome of it," said Nixon's attorney James Breeden.

Nixon will have to rely on the support of his family as they all begin a life apart, but not forever. With good behavior, Nixon could be released earlier. He is eligible for work release during his sentence.

He's been in jail for three months so that time is included.

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