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Pontoon ride at Lake Allegan turns deadly

A 55-year-old Illinois woman died after her pontoon was hit by a motorboat on Lake Allegan last Sunday. The pontoon was being driven by her husband who also sustained injuries. They were both taken to Allegan General Hospital where the wife died. Her husband was released the next day.

According to the Allegan County Sheriff's department, the couple owned a summer home in the area and they were enjoying a day on the lake when their pontoon was rammed by an open bow, runabout speed boat. Reports indicate that there were three people in the speed boat and three additional people being towed on an inflatable raft. According to fire authorities, the accident occurred in the middle of the lake and other boaters tried to assist those that were thrown in the water. No reports mention if the victims were wearing life preservers.

The sheriff's department said the victim died as a result of a head injury. Investigators also indicated that alcohol was not believed to be a part of the equation, but did run tests on the driver of the speed boat and are continuing their investigation.

Regardless of whether or not alcohol was a factor in this fatal boating accident, the driver was ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of at least eight people - themselves, the two speedboat passengers, the three people being towed, and the couple on the pontoon.

Distracted, negligent operation of a boat carries the same weight and responsibility with it as driving a car. The widower in this case has more than enough justification to file a wrongful death claim that would also cover his wife's funeral costs, loss of consortium and his medical bills.

Our law firm handles personal injury and wrongful death cases like the one discussed in this article. To learn more, feel free to visit our Ann Arbor boat accident web page.

Source: mlive.com, "Illinois resident dies in 2-boat crash on Lake Allegan," Aaron Mueller, July 16, 2012

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