Summer in Georgia is a time for outdoor activities, especially on the water. But when water craft operators behave negligently, tragedy can result. For example, an 11-year-old boy was recently declared brain dead several days after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a Jet Ski accident on Lake Lanier.
Authorities say the youngster was riding on an inner tube being pulled by a pontoon boat when a 38-year-old man apparently attempted to ride across the wake of the boat on a Jet Ski.
The Jet Ski ran over the inner tube, injuring the boy and a 15-year-old girl who was riding with him. The boy was pulled from the water by two unidentified good Samaritans. Both victims were flown to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Officials confirm that the 15-year-old suffered a laceration to her head and a broken arm. Three days following the accident the 11-year-old was pronounced brain dead. All persons involved were apparently members of the same party who had rented the pontoon boat and the Jet Ski.
Charges were not immediately filed against the 38-year-old man; however authorities said charges were pending following completion of the investigation.
Even though the accident occurred on a waterway as opposed to a roadway, rules of negligence for determining civil liability still apply. The operator of a motor-driven vehicle must operate the vehicle in a reasonable manner in order to avoid injury to other persons. If the operator is reckless or negligent in operating the vehicle, all injuries actually resulting from the negligence are compensable and may be recovered in a lawsuit filed in the court of proper jurisdiction.
Source: ABC News, "Usher's Stepson's Accident Still Under Investigation," Sheila Marikar, July 11, 2012; CBS Atlanta, "Usher's stepson brain dead after Jet Ski accident, Jet Ski driver identified", Katie Brace, July 9, 2012