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Two Orange County Residents Injured in Colorado River Watercraft Accident

By John Bisnar on May 16, 2012 - No comments

Zach Donnell, 13, of Yorba Linda and John Donnell, 69, of Orange were injured in a San Bernardino boating accident when two watercraft collided on a river, the afternoon of May 13, 2012. According to a news report in The San Bernardino County Sun, the watercraft accident occurred on the Colorado River in Needles north of Needles Bridge. Officials have not stated what caused the two watercraft to collide. The teenager suffered major injuries and has been listed in stable condition. John Donnell may have sustained a life-threatening injury, but his condition has not been released. Investigators are seeking information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident. They are still trying to determine if alcohol was a factor.

My heart goes out to Zach Donnell and John Donnell following this boating accident. I wish them both the very best for a quick and complete recovery.

Boating Accident Statistics

According to The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in the year 2010 there were 570 reported boating accidents in the state of California resulting in 283 injuries and 49 fatalities. During that same year, two fatalities and 26 injuries were reported as a result of San Bernardino County boating accidents.

Safety on the Water

It is unclear from this report what caused the two vehicles to collide. Of the 570 reported California boat accidents in the year 2010, the most common type of boating accident (188) involved a collision with another vessel. What caused these accidents? The most common cause of boating accidents in California that year was operator inattention (199). Other forms of boat operator negligence include excessive speed (113 accidents), operator inexperience (106) and passenger or skier behavior (56).

All boaters should receive proper training, should have a second boat operator on board at all times, should remain sober and attentive and should never travel at an excessive rate of speed. It is also important to stay off the waterways during adverse weather conditions and to keep a safe distance from other boats.

Liability Issues

Anyone injured in a boating accident should consider speaking with an experienced California personal injury lawyer. Financial compensation may be available for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, suffering, rehabilitation services and other related damages. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.


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