MIAMI, FL—A 42-foot vessel overturned on the Homosassa River in North Florida on August 21, killing one person and leaving nine additional accident victims injured. According to information provided by Tampa Bay Online, the violent boat crash occurred in Citrus County and is being investigated by authorities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Police and witness reports suggested 48-year-old GMC car dealership owner Robert Wade Phillips was operating his offshore fishing boat, the Contender, in the Homosassa River when it capsized and flipped for unknown reasons. The Hermosa Springs man was sadly killed in the boating accident.
Phillips’ wife, 43-year-old April Phillips, along with his two kids, 18-year-old Wade and 15-year-old Asten, suffered unspecified injuries in the boat wreck. Officials identified the remaining accident victims as 19-year-old Rebecca Anderson, 20-year-old Peyton Valls, 16-year-old Samantha Pauley, 17-year-old Delaney Jean Owens, 47-year-old Reid Paul Callahan, and 57-year-old Lester Kemp. They were rushed to local hospitals to be treated for their wounds. The extent of the surviving victims’ injuries was not clear.
Although it also remained unclear whether the victims were wearing life jackets at the time of the wreck, boating safety advocates and boat accident attorneys, such as the Miami injury lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz, have long supported the use of life jackets to protect boat operators and their passengers from serious harm. According to the National Safe Boating Council, about 84 percent of drowning deaths could have been prevented if the victims would have chosen to wear a life jacket, otherwise known as a personal flotation device (PFD).
The FWC is expected to conduct a full probe into the fatal boating accident.
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.