MIAMI, FL— June 13, 2011 – More than one year after a boating accident claimed the life of two high school students from Middleburg, Florida, the boat operator, who happens to be the father of one of the victims, faces a first degree misdemeanor charge in relation to the crash. According to information provided by First Coast News, Ted Hanner, who was arrested and charged with reckless operation, was behind the wheel of an unspecified boat when it struck a horizontal tree branch, killing his son, Travis, as well as his son’s friend Halee Mickey.
Beyond being charged with reckless operation in connection with the fatal boating accident that occurred last February, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) contended Hanner also failed to keep proper lookout and operate the watercraft at an appropriate speed beforehand.
Reports suggested Hanner was operating the boat when its motor apparently began to shut down. Even though the vessel’s controls were seemingly in the on-position at the time, Hanner momentarily abandoned them so he could pump the fuel bulb, which was situated about seven feet away.
Shortly after he pumped the bulb, the motor regained full power and careened toward a nearby tree, where it subsequently collided with an overhanging branch. Hanner told FWC investigators that his son attempted to pull his friend away from the branch, but to no avail. Both of the teenagers suffered fatal injuries in the deadly boat crash.
According to the FWC’s accident report, “Leaving the controls of the vessel while under power and on plane, the operator [Ted Hanner] started a series of actions that led to this accident.”
Furthermore, though Hanner admitted to consuming a few beers on the day of the fatal wreck, toxicology tests revealed no alcohol in his system at the time.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) statistics indicated there were 4,730 recreational boating accidents recorded during the year 2009. Those boat crashes resulted in a total of 736 fatalities that year.
About the Miami cruise ship injury lawyers and boat accident attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.
With four decades of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of boat and cruise line passengers who are hurt or assaulted onboard, the knowledgeable Florida boating accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz are dedicated to protecting the rights of these individuals and fighting to provide them with the compensation they deserve. Working closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Miami personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. strive to provide justice to individuals who suffer serious injuries in a wide variety of boating accidents.