During the warmer months here in Louisiana, many people enjoy taking their boats out on the state's waterways. Many boaters fail to remember that the same distractions that lead to accidents on the roadways can cause an accident on the water. As if to illustrate this fact, officials report that boating season recently claimed another accident victim.
Two men were out on a 14-foot boat sometime around 8:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday night. The Louisiana Division of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reports that at some point, the driver of the boat got distracted. Consequently, the boat slammed into a railroad bridge piling. The impact threw the passenger into the water.
The boat driver dove into the St. Landry Parish waterway, swam to shore and called for help. Sadly, by the time crews from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office and the LDWF recovered the victim's body around 10:15 p.m. that same night, he was dead. It will be up to the coroner of St. Landry Parish to determine what caused the victim's death, but toxicology samples were taken and sent for analysis to determine whether impairment played a factor in the crash.
The LDWF is responsible for investigating this boating accident. Even if the driver of the boat is not criminally charged in the crash, the victim's family retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against him. If the family establishes that the accident victim died due to the negligence of the driver, a Louisiana civil court could enter an award of damages that could help with the unexpected financial losses that occur when a family member dies prematurely.
Source: klfy.com, "Arnaudville man identified as victim of boating crash", June 16, 2016