Tasha Turner, 30, drowned in a boating accident as she took a trip with her daughter and boyfriend on the Colorado River. According to a KTLA news report, the three had set out on a 19-foot closed-bow vessel with three other passengers to go tubing on August 5 near the town of Big River on the California-Arizona border. Police say the boat was driven by 52-year-old Umberto Bagnara. Around 6:30 p.m. that say the boat lost power, became swamped and began to sink.
Six others on the boat managed to swim away from the sinking vessel, but Turner was tangled up in a ski rope that was tied to the boat. Unable to free herself, she was pulled underwater and drowned. This occurred after Turner saved her boyfriend and her daughter. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the incident.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Tasha Turner for their terrible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Boating Accident Statistics
According to the California Division of Boating and Waterways, 50 people died and 266 were injured in 588 boating accidents statewide. Also, 27 of these accidents occurred on the Colorado River. In San Bernardino County in 2016, three fatalities, 20 injuries and 33 boating accidents were reported. During the same year, flooding or swamping was listed as the second leading cause of boating accidents in California.
Fault and Liability
Based on this news report, it appears that boat lost power, became swamped and then began to sink. There are still a number of questions here. What caused the boat to lose power? How experienced was the boat operator? Did the boat accident occur because of poor vessel maintenance or due to a mechanical malfunction? We trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine who or what caused this fatal boating accident.
In this particular case, if the boat operator is determined to have been negligent he and his employer (if there is one) can be held liable for the damages and losses caused. In such cases, family members or survivors of the decedents can file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love, care and companionship. A knowledgeable San Bernardino personal injury attorney who has successfully handled boating accident cases can help victims’ families better understand their legal rights and options.