The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) has reported it will not be charging the boat operator after a fatal crash at El Capitan Reservoir.
On July 31, a blue and white Nitro boat sped through a “no wake” area and collided with another boat. The passenger and boat operator from the Nitro were treated for minor cuts and bruises, but both passengers from the other boat were killed in the crash.
The SDPD concluded its investigation into the accident on August 21. Law enforcement officials also released new details about the crash, saying that the victim’s Bayliner boat was traveling northbound in the southbound lane during the accident.
The details are murky. Bystanders say the Bayliner was stationary when it got hit, but it may have been moving anywhere from 5-20 mph. The area had been deemed a “no wake zone” due to low water levels, but the Nitro was traveling much faster than idle speed.
The boats were traveling in an area known as “The Narrows,” and several witnesses reported that it is easy to get into the wrong lane. However, they believe the boater’s failure to operate safely caused the accident, not the Bayliner’s driving.
Police have decided that they do not have enough evidence to pursue criminal charges. However, the victims’ families could still hold the reckless boaters accountable for their negligence by filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Maritime Lawyer in San Diego, CA
Unlike criminal charges, personal injury lawsuits can be upheld simply by proving that the other party’s negligence caused a preventable death or injury. According to California’s comparative negligence laws, an injury victim can still collect damages if he or she is partially responsible for the accident.
If you are considering filing a civil suit, the right legal advice could make all the difference. Schedule a free consultation with attorney Frederick M. Dudek, or follow Dudek Law Firm on Facebook or Twitter for more information.
[Did You Know: “No wake zone” violations are a misdemeanor, resulting in fines up to $200.]
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