A day of recreational boating turned tragic last night when a boat passenger died in a Lake St. Clair boating accident. News reports provide some basic details but much is still to be determined by a formal Macomb County Sherriff's investigation. What is known is that a 43 year old woman was killed when she was ejected from the boat and apparently drowned.
Reports indicate that neither she or the other boat passengers were wearing life jackets. This tragedy brings back the death of the City of Southfield Fire Chief who also tragically died after apparently jumping off a boat in Lake St. Clair to retrieve a piece of clothing that fell into the lake. Apparently, he was also not wearing a life jacket.
The formal investigation into yesterday's boat accident will need to answer several questions, including:
- Was there alcohol or drugs involved in the accident?
- Why did the 30 foot boat crash into a drifting 27 foot Sea Ray?
- Did the Sea Ray improperly drift into the path of the oncoming boat?
- Can investigators determine the speed of the boats?
- Were either of the boat drivers negligent in causing this boating accident?
- Were there life jackets on the boat available to passengers?
Once these questions are answered, police can determine whether any criminal charges will be brought against either of the boaters for this accident. A civil wrongful death lawsuit is also a possiblity for survivng family members and the investigation will shed more light on the likelihood of success in a boating accident lawsuit.