Jet Ski Accident Sparks Calls for Restrictions on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach
Over the weekend my colleague John Cooper wrote about a serious jet ski crash on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach that left a teen with critical injuries.
The accident has led people who live near the Lynnhaven River to warn of the dangers of the river which is packed with boats and water skis on summer weekends.
WAVY.com reported on a campaign for a change in the rules on the river after two jet skis tried to slow down before they hit each other, according to Virginia Beach Police. The driver of one of the jet skis was injured, and her passenger, a 13-yer-old girl, was flown to another hospital because of the severity of her injuries.
It’s not clear how fast the drivers of these two jet skis were going on Sunday but local residents say they are familiar with people on boats and jet skis driving dangerously.
“It’s pretty hectic on the weekends,” said Beth Blythe, who lives near the crash site.
“It just seems like there’s a lot of craziness going on back here.”
Blythe and other residents told WAVY’s 10 On Your Side they’d like to see the stretch of river where the accident occurred turned into a no-wake zone.
One resident, Joe Dorto, told the TV station he had petitioned neighbors many years ago, but couldn’t get enough signatures to get it through city council.
“I think that people who have children should certainly revisit it, because it’s dangerous,” he said. “Sometimes, it takes something bad to happen for people to realize it and change it and do something about it.”
Drew Lankford, a spokesman for the City of Virginia Beach, said the Virginia Beach city attorney is looking into what citizens would have to do to create a no-wake zone.
The need for changes on the river is clearly more pressing after this serious accident. Given the large number of personal water craft and boats on this stretch of river and accounts of speeding, an accident may have been waiting to happen on this river. I’m concerned we may see more serious incidents involving jet skis.
Jet skis can reach speeds of 60 mph, making them the most dangerous of water craft. They also provide little protection to riders.
Recently Fox News reported how in 2011, some 44 people were killed on personal watercrafts. With so many in use, accidents will inevitably occur, but given the high speeds and limited protection offered by the vehicles, riders sometimes suffer very serious injuries or lose their lives.
The channel highlighted the case of Kristin Beale, of Richmond, Va., who endured countless hours of physical therapy since Aug. 28, 2005, when she was hit by another Jet Ski while riding one with a friend on Lake Gaston in North Carolina. Her close friend died and Beale, then 15, suffered traumatic injuries to her spinal cord and brain.
If you have been hurt by a jet ski or another vessel in Hampton Roads or further afield, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.