On December 20, 2013, Marcella Hewett, age 50, was driving a boat in Florida when the boat crashed into a bridge piling, killing a passenger on her boat.
Details of the Fatal Boating Accident
- According to CBS Miami, the accident occurred in the Dania Cutoff Canal, killing Hewett’s passenger David Duda.
- Hewett is accused of being intoxicated while driving the boat.
- Surveillance tapes also show that Hewett waited half an hour before contacting emergency personnel.
- Hewett is now facing charges of boating under the influence, vessel homicide, failure to give information or render aid, and tampering with physical evidence.
Boating Accident Statistics
- The U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,515 recreational boating accidents that included 651 deaths, 3,000 injuries, as well as property damages worth $38 million.
- Alcohol use is a leading factor in boating accidents; it was listed as the main factor in 17% of accidents.
- There were 280 accidents involving alcohol in 2012, which included 109 deaths and 227 injuries, ranking alcohol use as the 7th leading contributor in boating accidents.
- The top ten known primary contributing factors in accidents were operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure, excessive speed, navigation rules violation, alcohol use, force of wave/ wake, weather, hazardous waters.
- The top five primary accident types in 2012 were collision with recreational vessel, flooding/swamping, collision with fixed object, grounding, and skier mishap.