Two people were hospitalized and one left missing in a boating accident on Commencement Bay. Read how the accident may have been prevented, here.

What Caused the July 4th Fatal Accident on Commencement Bay?

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Alcohol may be to blame for the fatal accident that took place July 4, 2015, on Commencement Bay in Tacoma. This tragic story is just further proof that boating while intoxicated is extremely dangerous.

When a Boating Trip Ends in Tragedy

Joshua Puckett of Tacoma is charged with watercraft homicide after his boat collided with another just past Defiance Point. Three of his passengers were thrown from the boat and one is still missing. The missing passenger, Douglas Foster of Portland, is presumed dead. 

The passengers in the boat that Puckett struck, Vicki and Robert Brown of Graham, were hospitalized for their injuries. Robert Brown suffered a facial fracture, and his wife lost an arm. According to Mr. Brown, Mrs. Brown’s arm was caught in the propeller, and caused injuries that resulted in the arm needing amputation.

Puckett was traveling between 40 and 45 mph when his 22-foot boat collided with the Browns’ 17-foot aluminum boat, which was moving at about 10 to 15 mph.

Who Is to Blame?

Puckett’s attorney blames the Browns for the collision. According to an eye-witness, Puckett’s boat was coming from the right and the Brown’s boat from the left. He believes this failure to understand right-of-way is what caused the accident. He also stated that the boat Brown was driving didn’t have its lights on, which could have contributed to the accident. The Browns’ daughter, Robynn Bradshaw, denies that the lights weren’t on and claims she watched her father check them before his voyage.

Puckett was arrested the night the accident took place and a judge set his bail at $75,000. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

Boat Accident Victims Have Rights

If you were injured in a boat or watercraft accident because of someone else’s negligence, you have rights. Contact the Andrew Kim Law Firm to discuss them.

Category: Boat and Watercraft Accidents


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