Court TV to feature Cayuga Lake hit & run case

A 2002 boating accident on Cayuga Lake that left one man dead and his companion seriously injured will be featured on “Forensic Files,” a program on cable television’s Court TV channel. The episode, titled “Dark Waters,” will premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 9:00 p.m. “Forensic Files” can be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 23 in the Ithaca area.On Aug. 17, 2002, Harry Uhl Jr. and Nasreen Raza were in Uhl’s boat off Myers Point on Cayuga Lake when another boat collided with them and kept on going. Uhl was killed in the crash and Raza was seriously injured. How investigators were able to track down, arrest and successfully prosecute the driver of the boat is the subject of the episode.“This should be a much more realistic representation of forensic cases than you see on TV shows like ‘CSI,’” said Gary Surdell, a lecturer in legal studies at Ithaca College and a prosecutor with the Tompkins County District Attorney’s office.Surdell served as lead prosecutor on the case, in which Floyd P. Wright was convicted of tampering with physical evidence and failure to stop and report following a boating incident. Surdell was contacted last summer by “Forensic Files” producers, who were interested in featuring the case.“I spent about four hours being filmed while they asked questions about the evidence and different aspects of the investigation,” said Surdell. Though Wright had made repairs to his boat, investigators were able to use forensic evidence to match it with the damage caused to the victim’s boat, in what Surdell described as “pieces of a puzzle that fit very well together.”The episode includes a reenactment of the crash. For more information on “Dark Waters,” visit www.forensicfiles.com.

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