People across Missouri enjoy boating, fishing and other activities on the Lake of the Ozarks and other lakes in the area. Unfortunately, these lakes are the scenes of many boating accidents. The Missouri water safety law requires you to obtain a boating safety identification card before operating a boat on the state's lakes. Missouri also holds boat drivers criminally accountable for boating while intoxicated (BWI) and the blood alcohol limit is .08, the same as for motor vehicles.
Four people and a Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Patrol trooper were involved in a collision between a state boat and a private boat one night on the Lake of the Ozarks. Investigators reported that the private boat did not have its bow lights on. The 55-year-old Missouri boater, turned into the path of the Water Patrol boat operated by a Missouri State trooper, causing a boating accident.
The troopers boat, a 29-foot 2005 Donzi, hit the starboard side of 55-year-old man's boat, a 33-foot 2002 Formula, which flooded and capsized. Additional Water Patrol troopers helped rescue the boaters and the boats.
Investigators believe alcohol was a factor and arrested the 55-year-old man on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. More charges could be filed in the investigation because troopers say the driver fled the scene of the accident and went to another part of the lake before his boat flooded and capsized. It also wasn't clear if anyone was wearing a life jacket.
The 55-year old boater had serious injuries. Three passengers in the boat had moderate to minor injuries. The trooper also had moderate injuries and all were taken to local hospitals for treatment.
Boating accidents may often be the result of another boater's recklessness. Speeding, disobeying no wake zones and drinking alcohol all contribute to boating accidents. If the accident happened while the boater was intoxicated or operated their vehicle recklessly, there may be criminal charges brought against them. The person who is responsible for a Missouri boating accident may be liable for the accident victims' medical expenses, property damage and other damages. The injured individuals may want to consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to determine whether they have a boating accident case.
Source: ky3.com, "Lake of the Ozarks crash injures Water Patrol trooper, 4 others" Chris Replogle and Gene Hartley, Aug. 30, 2013