Local News

Duke Athletic Director, Son In Boating Accident

Posted June 28, 2006

— Duke University athletic director Joe Alleva was injured during a boating accident on a lake north of Durham, and his son was charged in connection with the incident.

Authorities said the boat carrying Alleva and his son, Joseph David "J.D." Alleva, 27, was traveling too fast in a no-wake zone on Hyco Lake in Person County when it struck a group of rocks.

After the accident, the younger Alleva swam about three-quarters of a mile to the nearest lake house to use a telephone to call for help, according to Sgt. Tim Sasser of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Joe Alleva was treated at Person Memorial Hospital for a head injury, which required 42 stitches.

"The nurse counted 42 outside stitches in the middle of his forehead into the hairline. It was a curved cut that penetrated deep," Sasser said. "They did several inside stitches. He took a pretty good lick. I call that a severe injury."

Sasser also said that J.D. Alleva refused to give officers a breath or blood sample, but three officers smelled alcohol on him several hours after the accident. He is scheduled to appear in court July 25.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Joe Alleva said he was not seriously injured and was back at work. He said the accident "occurred as we were trying to navigate our way back to shore in dark, rainy conditions."

"I am thankful that the incident involved only one boat, that no one was seriously hurt and that my son was able to locate an occupied home on the lake with gracious people willing to assist us," Alleva said in the statement.

He did not mention the charge against his son, who played baseball at Duke from 1998-2001 -- the same year he was convicted in Durham County of driving while impaired near the Duke campus. J.D. Alleva appealed the conviction but later withdrew it and was sentenced to probation. His blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent, higher than the 0.08 limit for drivers in North Carolina.

Alcohol use has been a hot topic at Duke this spring. First, the university canceled the season of its nationally ranked men's lacrosse team after rape allegations surfaced involving three players. And earlier this month, basketball star J.J. Redick was arrested on charges of drunken driving in Durham County.

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