Reckless Speeding Causes Fatal Boating Accident

    Boating Accident Expert

    This case involves a family that was killed in a boating accident on a lake in Colorado. The family was riding in their personal 23ft Formula boat when they were suddenly run over by a 25ft Mastercraft boat. The impact killed three members of the family and the fourth family member drowned under the boat debris. It was alleged that the driver of the Mastercraft boat was speeding at 3 times the limit in the designated boating zone and that his negligence caused the accident. An expert in boating accident reconstruction was sought to inspect the boats in question, opine on the speed of the vehicles at the time of the crash, and determine how the collision occurred.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. How would you determine the speed of the boat as well as how the collision occurred?

    Expert Witness Response E-162340

    I am an accredited marine surveyor and a member of the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors. I am also a certified marine investigator with the International Association of Marine Investigators. I have served as a damage surveyor for insurers for almost 30 years. 20-25% of the cases I have seen have involved collisions. To determine the speed, the distance between the prop strikes can be measured and with the known size of the prop and ratio of the drive. Determining how the collision occurred is generally determined by the location and appearance of the damage to the boats, witness statements, and other documents. Determining fault and proportioning blame are fairly routine questions that are answered by damage surveyors. Diagrams from witnesses and application of the ColRegs or Inland ColRegs are used to assess blame.

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