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Woman charged with boating while impaired after fatal accident

South Carolina readers are likely aware of a recent boating accident that claimed the lives of two children. The story has received widespread media coverage, and has resulted in the arrest of the woman piloting the boat. She has been charged with driving under the influence with a water device causing death. The boating while impaired case has left the community in shock, and will likely raise awareness of the risks of being on the water.

The accident took place after a day of boating on Lake Hartwell. It was near 8:30 p.m. on a recent Sunday when the boat neared a dock. The 19-foot Hurricane was a deck boat; it was unclear how many people were onboard, although police have reported that five of the boat's occupants were children. Two of those children, a nine-year-old boy and a five-month-old infant, died in the incident.

The boat capsized and sank as it neared the dock. Witnesses said that while it did not appear that the boat was operating at an unsafe speed, it did appear as if there were too many people crowded in the front of the boat as it neared the dock. In addition, investigators told at least one reporter that the fact that the accident occurred after dark could have played a role, as it would have been harder to note any visual clues that the vessel was in distress.

Because South Carolina police believe that the woman had been drinking prior to operating the boat, she was arrested and charged with boating while impaired in an accident that led to death. In her initial court appearance, the woman cried out that she loved the children who were killed, and that it was a complete accident. However, because alcohol was involved, the authorities consider it to have been preventable. As this case moves forward, additional details will likely be made available.

Source: WYFF, "Woman charged in deadly boating accident speaks in court; denied bond", , Sep. 3, 2014

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