PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The tug boat operator involved in last year’s Duck Boat crash that killed two people, pled guilty to federal charges Monday afternoon. (see related stories)

The former tug mate had been on his cell phone with family after learning that his 5-year-old son had trouble breathing during surgery.

35-year-old Matthew Devlin, spoke quietly into the courtroom microphone, as he pled guilty to the charge of misconduct of a ship operator causing death. The charge has a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

Ben Simmoneau reports…

Assistant US Attorney Robert Zauzmer who prosecuted the case, decribed Devlin as remorseful:

“This is not a person who went out on the river that day with the intention to hurt people. He made bad decisions and he feels very bad about it.”

Devlin said he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after the accident. He has agreed to give up his maritime license and Coast Guard creditials as part of the guilty plea.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for November.

Reported by Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio

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