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Two Die in James River Boating Accident

Setting out for a fishing trip along the beautiful scenery of the James River can be an amazing experience.  But a pleasant trip can quickly turn dangerous in certain situations, as we saw recently in Newport News, Virginia (VA).

Recently, two people died in a boating accident on the James River in Newport News. The boat reportedly capsized on the Newport News side of the Monitor Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel.  

“There were really too many people for that size boat and according to the witness, the engine cut off and when the engine cut off they couldn’t steer the boat, wind picked them up and kept pushing them and water started coming over and kept coming,” said the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

Three Newport News police officers raced down the pier and jumped into the water saving an unresponsive teenager.  Despite the police and fire department’s heroic efforts, two people died - 52-year-old Philip Smallwood and 51-year-old William Smallwood, Jr. of Windsor, North Carolina (NC). 

Now, the Smallwood family is left to uncover who is liable for the boat accident injury.  This requires an investigation that is carried out by skilled and experienced investigators.  Depending on the body of water in which your injury occurred (e.g., navigable waterways), legal rights may differ considerably.  With the overlap in investigative bodies, recreational boating and personal watercraft accidents may be subject to different types of city, county and state laws.



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