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Florida Man Enters No Contest Plea in Connection With Fatal Boating Accident

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on July 10, 2011

Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham would like to remind boaters to exercise extra care while on Florida’s waterways and cautions them to avoid drinking alcohol while in control of watercraft. A 41-year-old Deltona man charged with careless operation of a vessel in connection with a boating accident that killed a DeLand woman and her father has entered a no contest plea. The man entered the plea after Volusia County Judge Belle B. Schumann dismissed two similar counts against him. The judge decided to dismiss the two charges due to double jeopardy concerns because all three charges were filed due to one boating accident.

The fatal accident occurred around 4:00 p.m. on May 31, 2010 near New Smyrna Beach. Accident investigators say the Deltona man was operating a 25-foot-long 1989 Chaparral that crashed into and ran over the top of an 18-foot-long 2006 Sundance that Memorial Day. The boating accident killed the pregnant 19-year-old woman and her 46-year-old father. Court records indicate that the man was ordered to pay a $116 fine, $223 in court costs and $50 for the cost of the prosecution. He will be on probation for six months, must perform 50 hours of community service and was ordered to attend a boating safety class.

In 2010, Florida led the nation in the number of people killed in boating accidents. At least 79 people lost their lives on Florida’s waterways that year, with California finishing a distant second at 47. There were 941,589 registered vessels in our state in 2010, which makes our lakes, streams, rivers and coastal waterways very crowded. Crowded waterways are inherently dangerous, but they could be a lot safer if boat operators took a boating safety class, exercised caution and left the drinking to their passengers.

Sadly, as this story illustrates, too many boat operators do not take their responsibilities seriously, and this cavalier attitude occasionally ends in tragedy. If you or a close family member has been injured in a boating accident and you have questions about your rights and legal options, call Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham today. Helping injured people has been the focus of his law practice since the beginning in 1977, and he has a proven record of success through settlements and court awards. Call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today to schedule a free consultation at one of his law offices throughout Central Florida.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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