The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

Baseball star "impaired" when boat crashed onto rocks

Most people in the Reading area would agree that alcohol and driving can be a fatal combination. A recent report into the fatal boating accident involving the late baseball star Jose Fernandez comes to the same conclusion about boating and alcohol.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife commission just released the report of its investigation into the accident in which Fernandez and two other men were killed. The commission based its conclusions on DNA evidence and the condition of Fernandez' body. The Commission first verified initial reports that Fernandez was operating the boat. The commission also concluded that "Fernandez operated [the boat] with his normal faculties impaired." According to the report, Fernandez was operating the boat at night and driving it at a high rate of speed in an area that had many known navigational hazards, including rocks, channel markers and rock jetties. The boat was traveling at 65.7 mph when the collision occurred.

In its most devastating finding, the report stated that Fernandez was legally drunk and had used cocaine on the night of the accident. If Fernandez had survived, he could have been charged with boating under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter and careless operation of a vessel. The report will undoubtedly aid the families of the two passengers who were killed in the accident. The families filed wrongful death lawsuits against Fernandez' estate in February 2017.

Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident should seek the advice of an attorney at the Leisawitz & Heller Law Firm in Reading. Our attorneys have deep and broad experience in boating accident cases, and they are dedicated to using their knowledge and experience to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering for their clients.

Source: Fox Sports, "Report: Jose Fernandez operated boat 'impaired, in a reckless manner' in deadly crash," Chris Bahr, March 16, 2017

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