Trial begins in Massachusetts boating fatality

Summer is upon us, which means that many Massachusetts residents will be enjoying recreational activities on local bodies of water such as the Charles River, Boston Harbor, Broad Sound, Quincy Bay, Nahant Bay and Massachusetts Bay. However, a day on the water can easily turn fatal with one wrong move.

Almost two years ago, a 10-year-old Massachusetts boy was killed in a boating accident when a motorboat crashed into the kayak he and his father were fishing from. The driver of the motorboat is currently on trial facing charges of manslaughter, boat homicide while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and the reckless operation of a motor boat.

The driver of the motorboat has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His lawyer told the jury that the sun’s glare had been so strong on that day in August that he could not see the kayak in his path on Norwich Lake in Huntington. The lawyer said that his client had taken the same turn many times in the past, and there had never been anybody there, until that day.

Jurors visited the lake’s shore and saw evidence of the demolished kayak. The prosecution told the jury about the gruesome injuries the boy suffered, which led to his death minutes after he was brought ashore. While testifying, the boy’s father called his son “a jewel,” and talked about the love of fishing they shared.

The driver of the motorboat was given a breathalyzer test about an hour after the accident and it did not detect the presence of alcohol in his bloodstream. However, prosecutors say that the man was impaired at the time of the crash after smoking marijuana and drinking all day. A jury will hand down a verdict sometime soon based on the evidence presented at trial.

A wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the motorboat is also a possibility.

Source: WWLP, “Father of boating accident victim calls boy a “jewel”,” Anaridis Rodriguez, June 12, 2012