Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

OR boat crash leads to lawsuit

OR boat crash leads to lawsuit

What started out as a calm day on the Columbia River turned into a heart-stopping excursion as boaters jumped overboard when another vessel came speeding toward them.

Just a second later, the vehicle crashes into the boat.

Bryan Maess, an off-duty police officer who was on the boat that was hit, filed a $372,500 lawsuit against Larsen.

It happened on the Columbia River on August 12, 2017, but the footage was just released this week.

The driver of the larger boat, a 75-year-old man, says he could not see where he was going because he was sitting down and his view was blocked by the dash. The passengers waived and shouted for a few seconds at the speedboat but it never changed direction.

Larsen's son-in-law, who was a passenger on the boat at the time of the crash, told investigators that he did occasionally see Larsen using his mobile phone while driving the boat.

Credit Clatsop County Sheriff's Office
Credit Clatsop County Sheriff's Office

Larsen, a Roseburg resident, told The Oregonian/OregonLive by phone Friday that he wasn't using his cellphone while driving his Bayliner and referred to such allegations as "fake news".

Larsen has been charged with reckless operation, three counts of reckless endangerment and three counts of fourth-degree assault.

They tried desperately to get the attention of the people on the speed boat, shouting 'Hey!' but nothing could be done to avoid the collision. Another picture posted on social media shows the parts of the boat where the propeller sliced after the crash.

Investigators said Maess and his passengers likely dodged serious injury or death by leaping into the water.

Meanwhile, it was reported that McMahon and Durham, who also suffered injuries in the accident, have hired their own attorneys and are willing to file their lawsuits. The two claim they suffered cuts and hypothermia after jumping into the cold waters.

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