Balboa Island Ferry Accident: Passengers Rescued as Dodge Minivan Sinks into Newport Beach

December 31, 1969

A family of four was pulled to safety on Friday after the Dodge minivan they were in was pushed off the Balboa Island Ferry and into the water at Newport Beach. Their motor vehicle then proceeded to sink. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the Orange County, California motor vehicle accident.

According to witnesses, the minivan fell off the boat after it was rear-ended by a Mercedes-Benz that accelerated suddenly as it drove onto the ferry. The impact of the collision shoved the Dodge vehicle through a metal safety arm and overboard. The driver of the Mercedes, Lisa Rene-Blaisure Waite, has told investigators that the accelerator on her vehicle had gotten stuck.

As soon as the minivan fell in the water, a ferry worker jumped in to rescue Kuo-Hsuan Chang, Lung-Hsn Chu, and their two young children, Ping Chung Chang, 6, and Ko Chan Chang, 4. Two boaters in their vessels also helped retrieve the family, who are from Taiwan but were vacationing in Orange County, California. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

While this story has a happy ending, California ferryboat accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. In addition to boat collisions, sinking ferries, falls overboard, and drowning accidents, Orange County, California injury accidents can occur on these vessel. For example, a ferry boat passenger can get hit by a vehicle driving onto or off the ferry, sustain a traumatic brain injury in a slip and fall accident, or become the victim of a violent crime. There may be more than one party that should be held liable for your Newport Beach personal injury on a boat.

"There are steps that boat operators should Take to protect passengers from Orange California, injury accidents," said Newport Beach boating accident attorney Vincent Howard."

A personal injury case against a ferry, tour boat, or any other vessel is not the kind of case that you want to handle without the help of an experienced Newport Beach boating accident law firm that knows how to protecting your interests and legal rights.

A few common causes of boating accidents:
• Operator inattention
• Improper lookout
• Negligent operation
• Inadequate security
• Inadequate safety measures and procedures
• Engine failure
• Speeding
• Failure to keep a proper lookout

All ferries have to be in compliance with US Coast Guard safety regulations. This includes having at least the minimum amount of properly trained seamen on board, in addition with the necessary rescue boats, life rafts, and slides. Safety hazards need to be eliminated or prevented, such as making sure that the car deck isn't too crowded and the proper prevention measures to keep passenger from falling off the vessel are in place.

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact Howard Law, PC and ask to speak with Newport Beach Injury Attorney Vincent Howard.

Parents, kids rescued as van bumped off ferry, OC Register, January 13, 2012

Boater helps rescue family from sinking van in Newport Beach, Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2012


More Blog Posts:
Huntington Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Fatal Jr. Lifeguard Boating Accident is Scheduled for Trial, California Injury Lawyers, November 27, 2011

Huntington Beach Boat Accident Blast Injures Eight People, California Injury Lawyers, November 26, 2011

Huntington Beach Wrongful Death Claim Seeks Damages from City After Boat Strikes Jr. Lifeguard During Training, California Injury Lawyers, December 2, 2009

Orange County, California Personal Injury Lawyer Vincent Howard and Howard Law, PC represent clients throughout the county, as well as in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside.