The family of a deceased Miami woman may soon need to turn to a boating accident lawyer to determine if they may be eligible for compensation following the tragedy. Investigators are still searching for answers as to what caused the incident. The woman was killed after the boat she was a passenger in crashed into concrete pilings underneath the Miami, Fl MacArthur Causeway bridge.
The victim, Janette Africano, 35, of Hialeah, suffered severe blunt trauma to the head and body and died Saturday, Jan. 12, after being rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. Authorities are still waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of her death.
Africano and her boyfriend had been riding on the pleasure craft just before the boat crashed on the Intercostal Waterway, near Port Miami, around 5 p.m. According to officials, the boating accident occurred as the couple, who were traveling in an 18-foot red and white vessel, were heading south on the Intercostal. As they approached the MacArthur bridge, a cruise ship was making a turn in front of them, so the couple decided to turn around and head north, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman, Jorge Pino.
However, the currents near the bridge were too rough and the vessel started to drift toward the pilings. Investigators are still trying to figure out what happened next, but believe Africano may have stood up and tried to stop the boat from crashing, but the vessel still crashed into the piling, fatally injuring her.
Pino also said investigators have yet to determine what exactly caused the boat to spin out of control. He said the accident is considered “unusual “because it involves a single boat and neither excessive speed nor alcohol appear to have been contributing factors.
No charges were filed as of last Sunday, but the investigation carries on.
“We’re looking at every possible cause, including mechanical failure and the experience of the driver,” said Pino.
Pilot inexperience is often a factor in boating accidents. When drivers aren’t sure how to navigate choppy waters or how to read maritime signals, they can cause the boat to lose control or crash. However, a number of other reasons could have also contributed to the crash. If mechanical failure was in fact a contributing factor, then Africano’s family may be entitled to damages for the death of their loved one.
Anyone who has lost someone they love in a boat crash or who has been injured while on a pleasure craft has the right to seek legal help to pursue an accident claim. If you or your loved ones were involved in a similar situation, contact our experienced boating accident attorneys today to schedule a consultation and protect you rights.
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