Legislation inspired by man who drowned following prank heads to state Legislature

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OSSINING -

Legislation inspired by the death of an Ossining man who drowned when a prank went horribly wrong is headed to the state Legislature.

Ossining's Sheila Lilley says her son, Bryan Johnson, drowned in 2012 after a group of people went out on a boat for a late-night swim at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. She says they were intoxicated when the driver pulled a prank and drove away, leaving Johnson in the water. By the time they got back, it was too late.

"Kids need to learn the safety of a boat and should know what they should do and should not do," says Thomasina Laidley-Brown, Johnson's grandmother.

Bryan Johnson's Law is headed to the state Senate and Assembly for a vote. Sen. David Carlucci, the bill's sponsor, says it allows judges sentencing a DWI case to also consider boating while intoxicated.

"The idea here is to send a harsh message so say you cannot drink and drive and you cannot drink and operate a boat successfully," says Sen. David Carlucci.

Carlucci says there has been over 200 fatalities in New York waterways in the past decade. Johnson's family is hopeful his story will make a difference.

"I feel like my son accomplished something," says Lilley. "That he didn't die in vain. That he is making a difference."

Carlucci hopes Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law by Memorial Day.

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