The video capturing the moment a speeding motorboat crashes into a salmon fisherman’s vessel on an Oregon river has been released.
In the GoPro video recorded on August 12, 2017, you can see the motorboat speeding through the waters heading directly for the small fishing boat. Passengers seemed to wave and yell in vain to get the attention of the yacht before bailing over the side into the water moments before the Bayliner Trophy 31-foot motorboat crashes into the smaller Weldcraft 20-foot fishing vessel.
The dramatic incident occurred on a stretch of the Columbia River near Clatsop County. As reported by CBS, the driver of the boat, 75-year-old Marlin Lee Larsen, was possibly distracted by his cellphone and not watching the waters ahead of him during the time of the accident. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash.
As reported by The Oregonian, the investigation claims that Larsen’s son-in-law said he warned him several times to pay attention. Larsen also told the sheriff that he should have been standing and that the boat dash had limited his view of the vessel ahead of him.
According to Oregon law, there is no specific statute for operating a boat while using a cellphone, but it is specific about the reckless operation of a boat.
The passengers of the fishing boat, Bryan Maess, Christopher McMahon, and Roni Durham, are reported to have suffered minor injuries and hypothermia from jumping into the river.
A $372,500 lawsuit has since been filed by Maess claiming that the driver of the motorboat, Marlin Lee Larsen, was driving while distracted by his cellphone.
Larsen recently told The Oregonian that reports that he was on his cellphone are “fake news,” and that the lawsuit is not valid because no one was seriously injured.
Larsen is also being charged by the Clatsop County Circuit Court with reckless operation of a boat, fourth-degree assault, and recklessly endangering the lives of others. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The sheriff report claims that if the passengers had not bailed over the side of the boat when they did, they would have been severely injured or even killed.