Fourth of July on the water turned deadly for a North Carolina teen who got hit and killed by a drunken boater on Lake Norman. The fatal crash occurred near a private dock in the town of Mooresville, NC, near a property close to the intersection of Whippoorwill Road and Little Acorn Lane.
According to a report by television station WSOC, the deceased victim suffered fatal injuries while wakeboarding on Lake Norman. A pontoon boat struck the 17 year old from behind and ran her over. Police who responded to the crash charged an adult with boating while intoxicated and may press other charges after completing their investigation.
North Carolina law treats BWI the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. This means no one should take the wheel of either a watercraft or a car after drinking enough beer, wine or liquor to reach a BAC of .08 or higher. This July 4, 2015, death of a teenager tragically illustrates why taking that safeguard is essential. Being drunk makes spotting and avoiding collisions--and the resulting injuries and deaths--difficult by blurring vision, clouding thought and slowing reflexes.
If anything, boating while sober is even more necessary. As a state wildlife commission officer told WSOC, "There's no yellow lines, there's no white lines; You have to pay attention to your surroundings. You have to know what's going on because a boat can be coming from any direction at any time."
State officials and the U.S. Coast Guard tried to get such messages and warnings out ahead of the holiday weekend through programs like Operation Dry Water. Sadly, those lessons were missed or ignored by at least one person north of Charlotte.