A tragic boating accident in New York which left a little girl dead and her family struggling to cope with her loss has resulted in a dramatic sentencing for the operator of the at fault watercraft. 8-year-old Charlotte McCue was killed in July of last year when a motorboat operated by Alexander West crashed into the boat in which she was riding and went airborne. Young Charlotte and her mother were both struck by the boat’s propeller. Charlotte was killed instantly while her mother suffered severe injuries.
West fled the scene but was later arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter and seven other charges stemming from that tragic day on Lake George. He is facing between five and fifteen years in prison for his incredibly cruel decision to consume both drugs and alcohol while operating a boat on one of New York’s most popular waterways.
This tragic boating accident in New York really spotlights the danger of mixing intoxicants and watercraft. It’s estimated that alcohol and both legal and illegal drugs are involved in at least 15% of all fatal boating accidents, contributing to over 270 accidents nationwide resulting in an average of 100 deaths and almost 250 injuries.
While West will be facing an uncertain future in State custody, he could be facing potential civil action as well on behalf of young Charlotte and the other victims of this deadly boating accident.
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident in New York because of a negligent boat operator, determining liability for the accident is the most important part of the case. At fault parties-including boat operators and owners (whether public or private transportation services) can be held accountable for the pain and suffering of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and in tragic cases funeral costs.