Last Updated: 7/13/2020
One person was killed and three others were injured in a suspected boating while intoxicated crash on James Creek in Mattituck on Sunday night.
24-year-old Kelley Blanchard was killed, while the boat’s operator, 48-year-old Frank DiStefano, and two other people were seriously injured in the crash.
According to the police, the 39-foot powerboat crashed into a bulkhead west of the entrance to James Creek at around 9:15 p.m. The crash happened near the end of Old Salt Road.
Officials from several departments responded to the scene, including firefighters from Mattituck and Cutchogue, Southold Town police, the Southold Town police Bay Constable, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
DiStefano was arrested and has been charged with boating while intoxicated. This crash remains under investigation.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville of Banville Law represents victims of motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol, helping them recover the financial compensation they need and deserve for their injuries. Here are some thoughts from Brian on the legal rights of people injured in boating while intoxicated crashes in New York:
When an intoxicated person injures or kills others in a motor vehicle crash, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the person who caused the crash. Additionally, New York and several other states have dram shop laws, which allow alcohol vendors to be held liable for injuries or deaths caused by their customers, under certain conditions.
According to New York’s dram shop law, alcohol vendors can be held liable for injuries or deaths caused by customers if the customer was either under 21 years old or visibly intoxicated at the time the vendor served them alcohol.
These rules apply to drunk driving crashes involving automobiles, as well as boat crashes involving intoxicated boat operators.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a drunk driving or boating while intoxicated crash, you can learn more about your legal rights by speaking with one of our experienced drunk driving crash victims lawyers in a free consultation.