The risk of boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities continues to rise throughout the summer with a peak in accidents around Fourth of July weekend. In another tragedy, four were killed and nine other victims were injured in an alcohol-related boating accident. According to the Miami Herald there were seven friends headed to shore in two separate boats. On the way back from watching the fireworks, a 32-foot Contender T-boned a 36-foot Carrera that carried a family of eight. Police reports indicated that the Contender smashed a hole into the other boat, causing passengers to spill into the bay. The Contender then spun off and slammed into a third boat.
The tragic accident left four dead and three in critical condition, impacting the lives of at least half a dozen families. Law enforcement investigators say that it is one of the deadliest recreational boating accidents in South Florida history. While reconstructing the accident to determine the cause of the collision, initial investigations point to alcohol as a potential culprit. Our Ford Lauderdale boating accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries. We are also committed to advocating for the rights of victims who have suffered because of negligence.
Initial accident reports indicate that officers found alcohol on board, though representatives say it is too early to draw conclusions. Toxicology reports are still pending on the victims. The Contender had been operated by a 23-year-old who was knocked overboard and killed in the initial collision. Two other young passengers, aged 20 and 24, were also killed in the accident. The Contender also carried two females who were critically injured in the crash. At the point of impact, the Contender struck the Carrera and killed a 23-year-old male passenger. The mother of two young daughters aboard was left critically injured and remains at the hospital. None of the passengers in the third boat reported serious injury.
According to witnesses, friends and families in both boats had gathered to watch the Independence Day fireworks from the bay. The group of eight friends went swimming, watched the sunset over downtown Miami and then watched the fireworks show. After the fireworks, is common for boaters to rush out of the bay in different directions. Investigators indicate that as the family in the Carrera motored around the bay, waiting for others to make room, they were struck by the Contender.
To determine cause, investigators are reviewing GPS units, lights and other evidence on the three boats, which have all been impounded. The officers are downloading GPS information to put together the physical evidence. Though no charges have been filed yet, a showing of alcohol in the toxicology reports of any of the operators could yield criminal charges. With four deaths and nine critical injuries, families and friends are coping with the death and still hoping for the survival of those who remain in the hospital.
In complex boating accident cases, an independent investigation can ensure that all evidence is collected and preserved. Individuals who have been impacted by a boating accident may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care needs, funeral expenses, property damage, and any additional personal losses.
Call 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation with Freeman Injury Law.
More Blog Entries:
Scuba Tragedy Highlights Liability, Risks in Broward, Palm Beach Counties, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 28, 2012
Boating Accidents in Palm Beach Target of New Watercraft Ban, State Not Happy!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 5, 2012