Crew blames mechanical defects and poor leadership as cause for fatal crash.
SAN DIEGO – A recent investigation of a Coast Guard boating crash that cited cell phone distraction as a cause of the accident, prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to issue a memo in August emphasizing the danger of using electronic devices such as cell phones while operating a vehicle.
As developments of the boating accident surfaced, published reports concluded that an on-board crew member made and received nine texts just 10 to 15 minutes before the crash on December 20. The accident lead to the death of an 8-year-old San Diego boy. Children’s injuries or fatalities are devastating accidents that can affect families immeasurably.
NTSB states that Coast Guard officer was not texting during crash
Recently, The Washington Post reported that NTSB admitted that texting may not have been the cause of the accident after all. Confusion occurred when phone records listed the texts in the wrong time zone. While texts were indeed sent during the operation of the watercraft, they were not the actual cause of the accident since they were made hours before the crash.
Crew members cite mechanical defects and poor leadership as the cause of this San Diego boating accident. Charges against crew range from involuntary manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to negligent homicide which could mean up to one year in prison if found guilty.
San Diego vehicle accidents resulting in wrongful death
Whether an accident occurs on the road or in the water, a wrongful death is devastating to the affected family. In cases such as these, the purpose of a personal injury attorney is to hold the responsible party accountable as well as provide some measure of solace through a wrongful death settlement.
Crew members of the craft said there wasn’t enough leadership from the Coast Guard, and they should have been stopped from operating the vessel altogether during that time. But, the Coast Guard found “no legal justification” for the San Diego Bay accident. An investigating officer said in a report that he told crew members it was dangerous to operate the 33-foot boat in crowded conditions. A situation involving reckless driving can be detrimental to the safety of those on-board as well as those in the path of a reckless vehicle.
Who’s at fault: finding answers for personal injury or wrongful death
In this case, is the Coast Guard to blame? After all, the distracted driving occurred prior to the accident. Still, a child’s life was lost and a San Diego family is still seeking answers. While the answers remain unclear, there is no doubt that cell phone distractions are a hazard to the lives of drivers and others on the road (or in this case, water), and should be refrained from altogether while operating a vehicle or watercraft.