Harry Holzhauer, 68, was killed in a boat accident after a 22-foot motorboat collided with the MS San Francisco, a Golden Gate ferry, carrying about 500 passengers. According to a news report in The San Francisco Chronicle, the crash occurred the afternoon of February 16, 2013 in San Francisco Bay. Holzhauer died from his injuries. A second person in the motorboat, who has not been identified, was hospitalized with serious injuries. None of the passengers in the ferry was injured. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the collision.
Officials say the ferry was on its regular run from Sausalito to San Francisco when the collision occurred. A spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which runs the ferry system, said that the motorboat was traveling at a high rate of speed when the crash occurred. The captain and four deckhands on the ferry were drug-tested and initially placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such incidents. The investigation is ongoing.
California Boating Accidents
According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, there were 570 boating accidents in California in 2010. In those incidents, 283 were injured and 49 were killed. Six fatalities were reported as a result of boating accidents in the San Francisco Bay area during that year. Collision with a vessel caused 188 out of the 570 watercraft accidents in 2010. According to the report, operator inattention, excessive speed and operator inattention were the three leading causes of boating accidents in 2010.
Causes and Compensation Issues
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to what caused this particular boating accident. There are still several unanswered questions here. Was speed a factor? Was the accident the result of a defective boat part or some type of mechanical malfunction? Did alcohol or drugs play a part in the incident? Who was operating the motorboat at the time? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
In such cases, injured victims and families of deceased victims would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced California boating accident attorney who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. Depending on who was at fault, injured victims and families of deceased victims can seek damages for their significant losses.