Drunk driving is not exclusive to the highways and byways as it happens on our lakes and rivers all too often as well. Recently a 39-year-old man from another state plead guilty to BUI manslaughter charges after a boating accident killed a 35-year-old Wisconsin man and injured a 34-year-old man who was also in the boat at the time of the crash. The defendant also plead guilty to BUI, or boating under the influence charges in relation to property damage as well. According to reports, a plea agreement was reached that included the wishes of family members of both victims involved in the crash.
Apparently the injured victim in the accident did not want prosecutors to pursue charges of BUI with serious bodily injury and so those charges were dropped, according to a spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s Office. The plea agreement calls for the defendant to pay court and probation costs, provide a DNA sample as a convicted felon and pay over $10,000 in property damage, in addition he is required to perform 100 hours of community service. The Cape Coral, Florida resident is also required to attend DUI alcohol education classes and conduct at least six lectures in those classes.
The boat accident occurred in early May of 2010 while the man was driving a 37-foot boat with both victims as passengers. The boat crashed into a seawall, came over the wall and landed in part on land. All three occupants of the boat were sent to a local hospital with trauma alerts. The driver and injured passenger were released however the 35-year-old was transferred to a Wisconsin medical facility. He died in late July that same year from medical complications caused by his injuries.
After the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission conducted an investigation, the driver of the boat was charged in March of 2011. Although it would appear from reports that family members are satisfied with the plea agreement and have received some closure in the horrific accident, they are no doubt struggling with the loss of their friend and loved one.
In accidents such as this, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation in the form of a personal injury or wrongful death claim. A claim may allow them to recover medical expenses as well as lost earnings and wages. The family of the deceased victim may be entitled to additional damages, including funeral and burial expenses as well as pain and suffering for their loss.
Source: Island Reporter, “Man sentenced in connection with fatal 2010 boating accident,” Tiffany Repecki, Aug. 21, 2012
Our Wisconsin personal injury law firm handles a variety of injury claims, including those resulting from car and boating accidents similar to what we discussed in the above post. Visit our personal injury page to learn more about us.