Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

Investigation ongoing in Virginia fishing boat accident

Investigators are still considering evidence and statements in an accident that occurred on Smith Mountain Lake on Friday, May 2. The fishing boat accident involved two watercraft and participants in a fishing tournament. According to reports, one craft ran into another, but authorities say alcohol was not involved. Authorities have not stated whether speed was a factor.

According to reports, none of the individuals involved in the accident were wearing life vests, though there were vests aboard each boat. A 37-year-old man was thrown from the boat that was struck. A couple was thrown from the boat that allegedly caused the accident.

According to reports, a 14-year-old boy jumped from the boat that was struck and guided each of the people from the other boat to safety. Reports are that the man and woman from the other boat were disoriented in the water. Both the man and the woman were brought to area hospitals for treatment. As of May 4, the woman had been discharged, and the man had been listed in fair condition.

The body of the 37-year-old man who was expelled from the boat that was struck was not immediately found. Approximately 14 hours after the incident, the body was recovered from the bottom of the lake, say authorities.

The boat that was struck was totaled. According to reports, the boat that struck the other vessel sustained $1,000 in damages.

Virginia residents that spend time on the water know that fishing and water sports can be fun. However, with high-speed machines, care is required and tragedy can strike quickly. When boating accidents occur, victims have a right to seek compensation for damages, pain and suffering and injuries. Considering all the facts in a case helps families decide on a legal route.

Source: The Roanoke Times, "Victim and teen rescuer both identified in Smith Mountain Lake boating accident" Jeff Sturgeon, May. 04, 2014

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