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Fatal boating while intoxicated accident results in charges

Two brothers have been charged with boating while intoxicated relating to a fatal canoeing accident. The incident happened in May 2014 along the Clarion River outside of Ridgeway, Pennsylvania. The oldest brother's 25-year-old fiancée was killed in the tragic incident.

The brothers, a 26-year-old and a 22-year-old, face misdemeanor charges of operating a boat while intoxicated by alcohol. They also face negligent and reckless operation of a boat charges. The first hearings related to the cases are scheduled to happen late last month. Both brothers are being represented by the same private attorney.

In the criminal case being brought against the men, police claim that the brothers were extremely drunk at the time of the accident. Their canoe hit a railroad trestle while they were traveling down the river at approximately 3 p.m. in the afternoon. This caused their canoe to tip over.

Tragically, the oldest brother's fiancée was pinned underwater and drowned to death at the scene. One of the brothers was taken to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia and a leg injury. The other brother told officers that he and his brother had drunk as many as eight beers.

Blood tests allegedly show that the two men had blood alcohol levels of 0.117 percent and 0.189 percent. The legal limit for boat operation in Pennsylvania is the same as for motor vehicles -- 0.08 percent. This tragic accident is very unfortunate, especially because it probably would not have occurred if everyone involved had been sober at the time.

When a boating accident claims the life of a Pennsylvania resident, the relatives left behind may wish to investigate the viability of pursuing a wrongful death claim for damages. Clearly, the decision to pursue such a claim will be a personal one, but in certain situations, it can also be a financial one. Indeed, end of life expenses and the cost of memorial services can be costly. Also, the pain and heartache of unnecessarily losing a loved one is something that can plague an individual for the rest of his or her years. A successfully navigated wrongful death claim could provide financial restitution for these kinds of damages.

Source: The Bradford Era, "Hearing set for Brockway brothers charged with DUI in fatal canoeing accident" Collin Deppen, Jan. 28, 2015

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