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Boating accident: Passenger suffers serious injury, driver dies

It might only be the beginning of March, but that does not mean that Louisiana residents are not enjoying getting in their boats and out on the water. Like any other vehicle, however, it is important for a boat's driver to pay attention and watch for obstacles. Otherwise, an accident can lead to serious injury for those involved.

A 74-year-old Louisiana man, piloting a 15-foot aluminum boat, was following another boat out into the Toledo Bend Reservoir area to go fishing. Survivors and witnesses reported that the boat ran into the wake of the lead boat. Neither the driver nor his passenger was wearing a life vest, and the boat did not have a kill switch.

Both men went into the water. The boat was out-of-control and moving in circles around the two men. The driver of the boat that was being followed pulled the 74-year-old, who was now unconscious, out of the water; another fisherman who was close to the scene rescued the passenger.

The 74-year-old boat driver suffered fatal injuries. His passenger survived with injuries. At last report, he was in stable condition at a hospital in the area. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries took possession of the deceased man's boat once they were able to get it stopped and out of the water.

Recovering from a serious injury can take a significant amount of time. While the injured passenger heals, he is incurring medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that could cause him and his family catastrophic financial losses. He retains the right to file a personal injury claim against the estate of the deceased boat driver. Establishing negligence could lead to an award of damages allowed under Louisiana law that could defray those losses.

Source: louisianasportsman.com, "Calcasieu Parish man dead after Toledo Bend boating accident Friday morning", Feb. 19, 2016

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