Whenever California residents engage in recreational activities like boating or waterskiing, they rarely anticipate that a trip meant for fun could turn into something more tragic. For one man, however, a recent boat outing resulted in serious injuries to himself the death of his wife and 12-year-old daughter. Authorities believe that alcohol played a key role in the deadly boating accident and the potential for personal injury and/or wrongful death claims looms over the tragedy.
The injured man had been piloting the boat he and his family were on when another boat slammed into theirs. Authorities allege that the 53-year-old man who was piloting the second boat was doing so under the influence of alcohol. While they have not yet released any numbers regarding the man's blood-alcohol content, they have arrested him on criminal charges stemming from the boat accident.
The criminal allegations that he has been charged with include two counts of vehicular manslaughter with special circumstances. The accused boat operator apparently was released after posting a $100,000 bail. A hearing date regarding the criminal charges has been set for mid-October.
There was no immediate word on whether the allegedly drunk driver will also face criminal charges regarding the serious injuries suffered by the man who survived the collision. Regardless of whatever criminal proceedings may be prosecuted against the accused man, he could find himself facing a personal injury and/or a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court at some point in the future. California law permits those seriously injured in an accident, or the surviving family members of fatal victims, to sue for monetary damages based on proof of negligence by another party that caused or contributed to the tragic incident.
Source: Appeal-Democrat, "Penn Valley man in Englebright accident in serious condition," Matthew Renda, Sept. 20, 2012