A man has been charged with boating under the influence after causing a boat crash on Lake Lanier that left one child dead, another child missing, and multiple people injured. According to My Fox Atlanta, a large center-console fishing boat was speeding when it smashed head-on into a pontoon boat carrying 13 people. The man driving the fishing boat allegedly left the scene of the crash but was later found and arrested. The crash killed a 9-year-old boy; a 13-year-old is still missing and three other family members have non-life-threatening injuries.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has said that the pontoon boat’s lights were on and they are unsure of how the other driver did not see it. The 13 people on the pontoon boat were all relatives from Gwinnet County on a family outing. The three individuals taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with injuries were the mother of the deceased and two other children. Divers are currently scouring the lake for the body of the missing teenage boy.
Boating accidents are a serious problem in the United States. In 2011, the United States Coast Guard reported 4604 accidents that led to 758 deaths, 3081 injuries, and approximately $52.2 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. The most common causes of boating accidents are operator inexperience, boating under the influence (BUI or BWI), operator negligence or recklessness (including speeding), equipment failure, and failure to yield.
As it gets warmer and people start taking long weekends and summer vacations, the chance of Georgia boating accidents increases. This tragic incident is a reminder of the risks of boating and the severe consequences boating under the influence can have. This needless loss of life is a brutal illustration of the horrible injuries and death that can result from boating accidents. If you have been injured in a boating accident, the compassionate maritime lawyers at Morgan & Morgan will be a tireless advocate for your legal rights and will seek to recover as much compensation as possible for your injuries.
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