As summer arrives, Florida residents will continue to see a rise in water-related injuries and fatalities, including swimming accidents, drowning, and boating collisions. Earlier this month a popular South Florida radio DJ was involved in a boating accident in Key Biscayne that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old bystander. According to reports, “DJ Laz” was behind the wheel of a 40-foot vessel, a.k.a. “Off The Air” when the accident occurred. The 23-year-old victim was helping to push the vessel off the sand dune when he was likely caught in the propeller. Medical examiners listed his cause of death as “multiple chop wounds.”
While many boating accidents occur on the water, this is a tragic incident that occurred while trying to push the boat off of a sand dune. When working near boat engines, it is important that operators and bystanders stand clear to prevent similar accidents and fatalities. Our boating accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are dedicated to helping victims recover compensation for losses. We are also experienced in handling wrongful death claims on behalf of families who have lost a loved one in a tragic boating accident.
Law enforcement officers had been in the area to patrol crowds at the time of the accident. According to witnesses, officers rushed to the scene to help the victim, who was taken by helicopter to the hospital. The current investigation is focusing on the cause and whether alcohol or recklessness played a role in the death of the victim. The officers are still determining whether charges will be filed against the operator.
Boating accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities will likely give rise to civil or criminal penalties. In the event that a driver is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, law enforcement officials could file serious charges, including DUI, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide. Despite initial concerns of boating while under the influence, investigators said that the driver did not exhibit any signs of impairment, such as blood shot eyes, slurred speech or unsteady movements.Family members are hoping that video evidence and witness statements will help to shed light on the events that led to the tragic death of this young victim.
Initial reports indicated that police officers took a blood sample from the boat operator DJ Laz to determine whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This statement was later retracted as officers said there was no probable cause to warrant a breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test. The DJ posted a statement on his Facebook and Twitter pages sending condolences to the family of the victim. He agreed to be cooperative with investigators. It is unknown whether criminal charges will be filed in this case. The name of the boat (“Off the Air”) was a reference to the DJ losing his job as the morning host on Power 96 after 22 years. The young victim was a personal bodyguard who graduated from the police academy.
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