PDA

View Full Version : Fatal NJ Boat Accident



clancy
08-05-2008, 03:44 PM
1 dead, 4 injured in hit-and-run boat accident in Ocean County, NJ

An Essex Fells father of two out for a leisurely cruise with his wife and friends was killed Sunday when their small boat was run down after midnight in a hit-and-run accident in the Metedeconk River.
Robert Post, 49, of Essex Fells was on the 17-foot, single motor Boston Whaler with his wife Bonnie, 52, and friends as they navigated a small strait between the mainland of Brick Township and Herring Island when they were struck by the other boat around 1:15 a.m., police said. Also injured were Cliff and Joan Farren, 45 and 46 respectively, of St. Davids, Pa., and Karen Kelly, 46.

The Star Ledger (http://news.google.com/news?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2006-14,GGLG:en&q=NJ+BOAT+DEATH)

clancy
08-05-2008, 03:54 PM
Hit-and-run boat seized, authorities say
Brick, NJ man owns suspect boat

BRICK — The man authorities believe could have been at the helm of the speedboat when it collided with a 17-foot Boston Whaler on the Metedeconk River about 1 a.m. Sunday met with an attorney Monday to help them with their case. One man was killed and four were injured in the accident.

“I don’t know that it was his boat that hit the Whaler,” said attorney William Cunningham who is representing Anthony Digilio, 29, of Brick. State Police and members of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office had forensic experts working Monday to determine if Digilio's Imperial speedboat was responsible for the damage that caused the death and injuries. The Digilio family has been fully cooperating with authorities since they realized they had a possible connection to the tragedy, Cunningham said.
Anthony Digilio told Cunningham he ran over something on his way home on the Metedeconk River and had noticed that the mid shift bilge was on and he assumed he was taking on water.
Digilio thought he had hit a log, Cunningham said today. Digilio and his girlfriend never saw or heard anything while they were traveling on the river when they hit something they believed was a log, Cunningham said.
Anytime, especially at 1 o’clock in the morning, that the bilge pump activates itself , the safest response is to get the boat out of the water “Or you are swimming,’’ Cunningham said.
Digilio and his girlfriend Krista Behrend of Brick, had been out for a ride on the ocean late Sunday and were heading back to moor the boat at a relative’s home on the Metedeconk River. They planned to place the boat on the relative's lift. In the morning, Anthony Digilio and his father, Joseph, of Brick took the boat home to see the damage, Cunningham said.
Digilio found out that his boat may have been involved in the fatal collision after his girlfriend received a text message from a friend asking if they were OK because there was a boat accident on the news and they were asking if they got home all right, Cunningham said.
They inferred that the news was reporting the accident happened about the same time and place that they believed they hit a log, Cunningham said.

Digilio contacted the attorney, who called the Point Pleasant Police, was directed to Brick Police then finally to State Police Marine division, Cunningham said.
“I don’t think drinking was a part of this,’’ Cunningham said.
The Digilios were absolutely distraught over the idea that they may have caused harm to the family, Cunningham said.
“They were in my office for over three hours Monday and were so upset,’’ Cunningham said. “Not for themselves but for the prospect that they may have injured someone. The family had no idea what they could or should do for the victims, it was obvious that the victims were good people and well respected in the community.”
Cunningham said that the Digilios immediately called authorities and said to come and get the boat, after seeing the damage once it was removed from lift and placed on the trailer and taken to the garage in Brick. The boat was taken to the Digilio home on Frank Neri Drive in Brick and that was when they called Cunningham and authorities to come get the boat.
The Digilio family wants to cooperate fully with the law-enforcement investigation, Cunningham said.

Cunningham, who is a private practice attorney and retired member of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, was instrumental in prosecuting the case of Barry Flowers, whose yacht ran over a smaller boat killing three fishermen and maiming a third in 2000.


This sounds like a case of boating while intoxicated.

Tom Hunter
08-06-2008, 09:32 AM
Or boating in the dark and not paying much attention.

There are two boats involved, either one could be at fault. We don't know any details, for example did the Whaler have running lights? Does the driver of the larger boat have impared vision or impared night vision (meaning does he wear glasses?) what about the smaller boat?

Was either boat keeping a proper lookout? Was the smaller boat proceeding at an unsafe speed, did it dart out in front of the larger boat and get hit?

We know this is a tragedy, but other than that we don't know a thing about the accident.

Don Z.
08-06-2008, 10:51 AM
Does the driver of the larger boat have impared vision or impared night vision (meaning does he wear glasses?) what about the smaller boat?



Are you implying that all people who wear glasses have impaired night vision, and therefore cannot/should not legally operate a boat at night?

Kaa
08-06-2008, 11:10 AM
Wearing glasses has nothing to with one's night vision, anyway.

Kaa

Michael s/v Sannyasin
08-06-2008, 11:24 AM
not necessarily true. In the case of that ferry that ran over a sail boat over in the UK, they determined that the helmsman's self-tinting glasses were activated by the bright light from the chart plotter (or some instrument) and were therefore too dark for him to properly see the running lights on the sail boat.

SchoonerRat
08-06-2008, 12:01 PM
not necessarily true. In the case of that ferry that ran over a sail boat over in the UK, they determined that the helmsman's self-tinting glasses were activated by the bright light from the chart plotter (or some instrument) and were therefore too dark for him to properly see the running lights on the sail boat.
If the lights at the helm station were bright enough to activate his self tinting lenses, they were probably bright enough to kill his night vision without glasses. I haven't worn glasses for years, but my experience with light sensitive lenses was that they require significant amounts of light to activate. IMHO wearing glasses did not hinder his night vision.

Tom Hunter
08-06-2008, 01:36 PM
Don,

I don't see any statements in my post that touch on the issue of who should operate boats. To make it perfectly clear, nothing I am writing here is addressing the question of who can or should legally operate boats at any time of day or night.:rolleyes:

Don Z.
08-06-2008, 03:29 PM
Don,

I don't see any statements in my post that touch on the issue of who should operate boats. To make it perfectly clear, nothing I am writing here is addressing the question of who can or should legally operate boats at any time of day or night.:rolleyes:

That's fair enough. Clearly I misunderstood the statement: "Does the driver of the larger boat have impared vision or impared night vision (meaning does he wear glasses?)" to mean that if the driver of the larger boat wore glasses, then he must have impaired night vision, and thus could be at fault.

And of course, if he were at fault because he had no night vision, then of course anyone with no night vision would be at fault... and if glasses cause a lack of night vision, well...

But as you say, that's not what you meant at all... So I'll just continue to protect my night vision. After all, my job fairly requires it!

Mike DeHart
08-07-2008, 03:51 PM
I have a hunch who's fault this is, strictly my opinion of course. I have seen two similar incidents on the Delaware River near the C&D Canal in recent years. In both cases a small boat displaying proper lighting was run over by some jackass in a testosterone filled go-fast boat who thinks he can safely run a boat at 60+ mph on the water at night. First incident followed a fireworks display at Delaware City. Noted jackass fired up his big, loud vroom-vroom and tried to rip out through a crowded flotilla of anchored boats at full speed. I no sooner said he is gonna hit someone and *crunch* he T-bones a small boat full of people. At least one was airlifted out. In the second incident, the jackass was running full speed through the canal, exited the mouth, and sliced across a small boat fising the end of the jetty, killing the fisherman.

You simply can not run that fast in the dark safely. Period. The people who think they can are the thing I fear most on the water. I noted in this story that it was a racing type boat that did the hitting. I would bet cash that I can guess the rest. In most cases a tiny little white light is your only clue that there is another boat out there with you. Add the background lights of urban life on all surrounding shores and that boat can be quickly lost. One good thing I can say about expensive gasoline is that there are noticeably fewer jackasses on the water this summer.

Side note and another pet peeve: The boat that got hit following the fireworks had beer on board, so it was classified as an alcohol related accident. I guess if he had not been drinking, the other boat would have just bounced safely off of him. GRRRR!

clancy
08-08-2008, 09:25 AM
TOMS RIVER — The widow of the man who was killed in a hit-and-run boating collision on the Metedeconk River on Sunday is pleading with the public to come forward with information to help law enforcement with the investigation.
Bonnie Post, 52, who was critically injured in the early-morning collision, was released Wednesday from Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and is preparing for her husband's funeral services, which will be held Saturday in Caldwell.
Post, through her attorney, is asking people who may have seen the speedboat involved in the crash anytime last Saturday night or Sunday morning to come forward and help explain how or why the operator of the speedboat "left the scene of a horrendous crash where she and her friends could have easily drowned," Post said in a statement released Thursday.
Post is being represented by Daniel J. Carluccio of Carluccio, Leone, Dimon Doyle and Sacks in Toms River. Carluccio is a former Ocean County prosecutor.

"Mrs. Post suffered serious personal injuries when her husband's boat was run down. The crash also injured three friends on the Post's boat," Carluccio said in his statement.

Sgt. Valentino Borrelli, who is part of the investigative team going over the evidence, said that a boat owned by Anthony Digilio, 29, of Brick was involved in a collision. This was determined after authorities got a search warrant.

Cliff and Joan Farren of Pennsylvania, 45 and 46 respectively, and Karen Kelly of Georgia were on the 16-foot Boston Whaler Katama with the Posts when the boat was run over, killing Robert Post, authorities said.
The Whaler had previously been reported by authorities as being 17 feet in length.

Eyewitnesses told investigators that the boat that hit them kept going, never slowing or stopping to assist them.

William Cunningham, an attorney and former member of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, is representing Digilio. He said his client was riding on the river about the same time the fatal collision occurred, although he denied any knowledge of having hit a boat with five people aboard. Cunningham said his client told him that he believed that his boat struck a log in the water.
Digilio and his girlfriend, Krista Behrend of Brick, had been out for a ride on the ocean in the early hours of Sunday morning. Cunningham said they were heading back and planned to place the boat onto a lift at a home on the Metedeconk River. In the morning, Digilio and his father, Joseph Digilio of Brick, took the boat home to survey the damage, Cunningham said.

The authorities have not been able to speak to Digilio or his girlfriend since the incident. Behrend also has enlisted an attorney, authorities said.

The fatal collision has brought heavy criticism upon the entire speedboating population, said Dave Patnaude, president of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club.
The criticism is unwarranted, he said, because people are drawing conclusions before the law enforcement has had the opportunity to conduct a thorough investigation.
The collision occurred in a channel of water called Gunners Ditch, which is at the eastern most end of Metedeconk River, starting at the Mantoloking Bridge. It is primarily a no-wake passage zone to the northern most end of Barnegat Bay, Patnaude explained.
"I have been through there at night," Patnaude said. "It is extremely dark, and there was very little moonlight" last weekend.
"I don't agree that he drove over the boat and that he did not know it," Patnaude said.
"One thousand percent, I believe this is a god-awful tragedy."
Patnaude said that Digilio is not a member of the Performance Powerboat Club.
"The thing I have a problem with is a rush to judgment as to what" the cause was, Patnaude said.
"There are so many (unknown) things," he said. "Was alcohol involved on one boat and or both boats, or did both boats have their navigational lights on and functioning, were they in a no-wake zone, and what speed and direction was each boat going?"
Patnaude said this is a time to gather facts about what happened, help police with information and wait for the answers. Calls for new laws lowering the nighttime boating speed limit are not necessary, he said, because the current laws are sufficient if State Police have the staffing to enforce them.
Cuts to the state budget have left a small number of State Police available to enforce the current laws, Patnaude said, and that is obvious on the waterways in the state patrolled by the marine bureau.
"The State Police presence on the Metedeconk and Barnegat Bay has been minimal," Patnaude said. "Everything across the state has been cut back."
The marine police presence is "slim on the bay and the river because they don't have the money to put out a decent-size force," Patnaude said.

VIDEO EXTRA: Fatal Boating Accident (8/3/08) (http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=VideoNetwork&pid=a9f0414b1588d9386e171398146e4d0c75f7f8b1&videoid=811572417)