A 54-year-old Auburn man who was under the influence of alcohol was arrested after a boat accident that killed two people Saturday night on Englebright Lake, about 65 miles north of Sacramento.
• An intoxicated boater slammed his powerboat into the side of a family’s waterski boat on a popular Northern California lake.
• A mother and daughter who were aboard the waterski boat were killed in the accident. The father, who was driving, was hospitalized with moderate injuries.
• A passenger on the powerboat also was hospitalized with injuries.
• The drunk boater was not hurt but he was arrested on two vehicular manslaughter charges and booked into jail without bail.
According to the Yuba County Sheriff’s department, 42-year-old Paul Peterlin of Penn Valley was driving a waterski boat on the lake — with his wife Cynthia, 42, and their 12-year-old daughter aboard — when Jeffrey Sandow slammed into them with his powerboat.
The violent impact nearly cut the Peterlins’ boat in two, sheriff’s Lt. Damon Gil said told Channel 10 News. Cynthia Peterlin and her daughter both were killed. It took a dive team nearly an hour to recover their bodies from the lake.
Paul Peterlin suffered moderate injuries and was hospitalized, Gil said. A man who was aboard Sandow’s boat also was injured and hospitalized, but his identity was not released.
Investigators are still looking into what caused Sandow to crash into the Peterlins’ boat, but evidence showed that he was under the influence of alcohol when the collision occurred, Gil said. His blood alcohol level was not released, but Gil said the Auburn man was intoxicated.
Sandow was arrested on two counts of vehicular manslaughter with special circumstances. He was booked into a Yuba County jail, where he was being held without bail, Gil said.
Boating Under the Influence
Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in deaths caused by recreational boating accidents, according to the Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Statistics 2011 report.
Laws against drunk driving also apply to drunk boating. The law, outlined in the Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655, states:
No person shall operate any vessel or manipulate water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.
Like drivers, boaters with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater are considered to be intoxicated. In court, a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent or greater can be considered “under the influence” if other evidence supports it.
Yuba County Boating Accident Lawyers
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