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Tug Pilot Faces Prison For Fatal Duck Boat Crash In Delaware River

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(A barge pushed by a tug boat bears down on a disabled duck boat in the Delaware River just before the fatal collision in July 2010.  NTSB photo)

(A barge pushed by a tug boat bears down on a disabled duck boat in the Delaware River just before the fatal collision in July 2010. NTSB photo)

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A distracted tug boat pilot who sunk a tour boat in Philadelphia will be sentenced Tuesday in the deaths of two Hungarian students.

Prosecutors accept that pilot Matthew Devlin had a true family emergency, but say he should have had someone else take the wheel.

Instead, Devlin spent most of the hour before the July 7, 2010 crash on his cell phone or laptop.

He rammed a huge barge into a stalled duck boat, sending 35 people into the Delaware River.

The 35-year-old Devlin, of Catskill, N.Y., faces about three to four years in prison under federal guidelines. He has pleaded guilty to misconduct of a ship operator causing death.

His lawyer will argue for a reduced sentence. He says the crash has devastated Devlin and his family.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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