Memorial Day weekend is generally a happy time across the country. People everywhere fire up their grill while enjoying a day off from work to memorialize those who have given their life for the defense of their country. It is a weekend to mark the beginning of summer and all the activities associated with that. However, one man will forever remember the weekend for the incredible loss he experienced after another man’s alleged inattention caused the death of his pregnant wife and 3-year-old son in a situation that could result in a wrongful death case in a North Carolina courtroom.
A 53-year-old man was in a speedboat on High Rock Lake when reports indicate that he looked down at the gauges on his boat. That moment of inattention, which some say is the boating equivalent of texting while driving, apparently caused him to overlook a pontoon boat that was directly in his path. The speedboat struck the pontoon boat which contained four people.
The pregnant woman and her young son, passengers in the pontoon boat, were killed as a result of the collision. The deceased woman’s brother, also a passenger on the pontoon boat, suffered a head injury and was reportedly in critical condition at a local hospital. The fourth person on the boat, the woman’s husband, was uninjured. No one in the speed boat was hurt.
While neither speed nor alcohol is suspected of playing a role in the accident, the death and injury of these people are tragedies that could have been prevented. The suffering of the surviving husband is unimaginable. As he struggles to accept the unacceptable, he does have some recourse in a North Carolina civil court in the form of a wrongful death case. If the civil court finds that the accident was caused by the negligence of the operator of the speedboat, he could receive a monetary award to cover the cost of funeral expenses and other damages recognized under our wrongful death laws. among other things. Additionally the injured man will face significant medical bills as a result of his stay in intensive care for which a successfully litigated civil case could provide financial reimbursement.
Source: Winston-Salem Journal, “Operator inattention possible cause of fatal boat crash,” Carson Capshaw-Mack, May 27, 2013