Two Dead in York River Boating Accident | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A 9-year-old girl and 35-year-old woman were killed yesterday when the recreational boat they were in capsized at Croaker Landing at the York River State Park in James City County, VA. The two victims were on the 20-foot boat with four other people. Two of the other passengers were transported to Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center for medical treatment. No information has been released regarding their condition at this time.  

According to information released by law enforcement, the group were on the boat fishing. Both of the victims were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident, however, it has been reported that they were both trapped under the overturned boat.

This is the third tragic boating accident our personal injury law firm has reported on in less than two weeks. On July 3rd, a 17-year-old girl was killed when a 21-foot speed boat collided with the jet ski she was riding on. The driver of the jet ski was sustained serious injuries. The fatal boating accident occurred on Smith Mountain Lake. Law enforcement is still investigating the fatal crash and have yet to release any information of which marine vehicle operator was at fault.

The second fatal accident happened just two days ago when two jet skis traveling on Currituck Sound in North Carolina crashed into each other. That fatal crash killed a 24-year-old man. The driver of the other jet ski was not seriously injured. Alcohol has been cited as a possible cause of that crash.

According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,158 boating accidents in 2015. These accidents claimed the lives of 626 victims, and left another 2,613 injured. Property damage from these boating accidents hit $42 million. These numbers represent an increase of almost 3 percent in both accident numbers and deaths from the year before.

More than 75 percent of the people killed in boating accidents drowned. Eight-five percent of victims failed to wear life jackets, and more than 70 percent of fatal boating accident occurred on vessels where the operator had not received any boating safety training.

Alcohol was again the leading cause of boating accidents where someone was killed. This was followed by:

  • Operator inattentiveness;
  • Operator inexperience;
  • Improper lookout;
  • Machinery failure; and
  • Excessive speed.

Although limited details have been released regarding today’s fatal accident, what is known is two more lives have been tragically cut short, just like the other two recent victims. Nothing will ever replace their loved ones, but the families of these victims should consider contacting a Virginia boating accident attorney to find out what legal recourse they may have against those responsible for the death of their family member.