A tragic Orange County, California boating accident occurred in Huntington Beach yesterday when an 11-year-old junior lifeguard was killed after being struck by a lifeguard boat. Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Greg Crow was driving the boat.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Laguna Beach resident Allyssa Squirrel was swimming in the ocean and taking part in an exercise that required the junior lifeguards to swim 100 feet from the shore. The lifeguards were then supposed to jump into a marine safety boat before going back into the water and gathering as a group before being picked up by a vessel.
Squirrell and another girl had not yet arrived at the group when the boat began circling to pick up lifeguards. This is when the propeller of the boat that Crow was operating struck the Laguna Beach resident. Squirrell, who sustained deep cuts to her hip and leg, died during surgery.
Crow is now on leave from his department. He has worked with the Huntington Beach Lifeguard Program for years and is licensed with the US Coast Guard. Following the tragic boating accident, Crow took a toxicology test. There were no drugs or alcohol discovered in his system. Crow is a 32-year veteran marine safety officer. Two other instructors were also present when Squirrell was hit by the boat. One instructor was in the boat with Crowe, while the other was in the water.
If you or someone you love was injured in a Huntington Beach boating accident, you may have grounds for filing a boating accident lawsuit against the negligent party. Boating operators are supposed to make sure that they do not injure swimmers or anyone that may have accidentally fallen into the water.
According to the US Coast Guard, common causes of Southern California boating accidents include:
• Operator inattention
• Skier/passenger behaviors
• Reckless/careless operation
• Alcohol use
• Failure to conduct a proper lookout
• Machinery failure
• Operator inexperience
• Poor weather
• Machinery failure
In 2007, the leading causes of boating accident deaths included:
• Carbon monoxide poisoning
There may be more than one party that can be held liable for your Orange County, California boating accident injury. For example, if you were injured in a Huntington Beach boating accident because a professional boat operator was careless, you also may be able to hold the company that runs the boating company liable for your personal injuries.
Community Mourns Death of 11 Year Old Girl Hit by Boat, KTLA, July 15, 2009
Boat driver who hit junior lifeguard is safety veteran, OC Register, July 15, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Huntington Beach Jr. Lifeguards
2007 Boating Accident Statistics, US Coast Guard (PDF)
The best way to explore your legal options is to contact our Huntington Beach personal injury lawyers today.