Fourth of July festivities near a marina in Miami took a somber turn when several vessels collided at the conclusion of an area fireworks display, authorities reported. The fatal accident, which occurred around 10:45 p.m., resulted in at least 12 people, including children, being taken to area hospitals for the treatment of unspecified injuries. At least four people have died as a result of the three-boat collision, and one person remains in critical condition after the incident.
According to reports, two of the injured expired at a hospital that night while two additional decedents were discovered in the water in the area the following morning. Officials also discovered at least one of the vessels with a large hole as they investigated. The investigation of the accident is ongoing, and the names and ages of those injured were withheld at the time of the report.
Although officials have speculated that the accident may have resulted from hurried activity as multiple boats sped toward the boat ramp, the exact cause of the collision has yet to be determined. Issues such as impairment and distracted driving might be evaluated during the formal investigation. If impairment is considered to be an issue, there may be follow-up testing for blood alcohol levels. Meanwhile, those who have lost loved ones as a result of the accident may be wondering about determining responsibility for the incident. As they deal with issues such as loss of companionship, support and other benefits, they might consider filing wrongful death claims.
The investigation of the incident may play a vital role in determining the merit of a wrongful death claim. A legal opinion may be important if there is a possibility of a another party’s responsibility for the accident. Working with a lawyer may also be helpful to evaluate potential insurance benefits or to explore the possible negligence of area officials in directing boat traffic following the holiday festivities if applicable.
Source: CNN, “Official: 4 die, a dozen injured in post-fireworks boat crash off Miami“, Janet DiGiacomo and Shelby Lin Erdman, July 06, 2014