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Investigation ongoing in California boat accident

Authorities are still investigating an accident that occurred recently in the California's Bay Area when an empty oil tanker crashed into a bridge.

Luckily in this crash, no one was injured and there was no reported oil leak, which means that the damage is limited to property damage of the boat and perhaps the bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard classified the boat collision as a "major marine casualty" which means that the cost of the damage is estimated at over half a million dollars.

The captain who was piloting the boat at the time has been involved in three crashes in the past. He was found to be at fault in two of those crashes, which were both considered minor. The area where he works is supposedly one of the toughest parts of the waterway to navigate and requires special training in order to be licensed to drive a large vessel there.

As with any boat accident, investigators took blood samples at the scene in order to determine if intoxication was a factor in the crash. A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said that they are still analyzing the samples for drug use and that there is no evidence of alcohol use.

Various types of civil damages claims could arise out of a boat accident like this one, including an action for damages against the pilot if he was at fault for the damage to the bridge, or an action against the employer if any of the workers are found to have suffered from an injury or emotional trauma as a result of the crash. In any of these situations it is important that the investigation be completed and that the causes of the accident are identified in order to hold any responsible party accountable for the harm.

Source: Associated Press, "Pilot who struck Bay Bridge had 3 prior accidents," Jan. 8, 2013.

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