Family Of Oklahoma Boating Accident Victim Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Recently the family of one of two people who died in a 2013 Oklahoma boating accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the boat and other parties. The incident, which occurred on Grand Lake, has also resulted in criminal charges.
The two university students who died were sitting at the bow of the boat when it crashed into an unoccupied houseboat docked near Duck Creek. The driver, a friend of the deceased, is accused of driving excessively fast and having an elevated blood alcohol level.
In addition to the driver, the wrongful death action also names the driver’s parents and the company that owned the boat as defendants.
Boating accident on Grand Lake allegedly resulted from alcohol use and excessive speed
An article in The Oklahoman notes that the two victims and the driver were all students at the University of Arkansas when the accident occurred in May 2013. One victim (whose family filed the lawsuit) and the driver grew up in Oklahoma, while the second victim was from Arkansas.
The two victims, who were sitting at the bow of the boat when it crashed, were apparently the only occupants of the boat – a total of eight people were on board – seriously harmed in the incident.
In a preliminary report, investigators listed “excessive speed, alcohol and operator inattention” as contributing causes. The driver acknowledged to police that he had consumed ten beers as well as a shot of tequila on the day of the accident. A blood test indicated that his blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent, which is more than double the legal limit of 0.08.
The driver also told police that the boat was moving approximately 25 miles per hour at the time of the crash. In contrast, according to an article in the Tulsa World, the wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the boat was moving between 45 and 50 mph and was “being piloted in ways inconsistent and inappropriate” within the context of relevant boating rules.
Driver of boat also charged with manslaughter
The driver of the boat was also charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter as a result of the accident, and was freed on a $25,000 bond. The Tulsa man has not commented publicly on the accident, but did make a statement expressing his sympathy for the victims’ families and his affection for the two friends who lost their lives.
Anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of an accident of any kind should contact a personal injury lawyer with experience handling wrongful death lawsuits. An attorney with relevant expertise will assess the facts of each unique situation and offer expert advice on available legal options.