June 23, 2011 - Philadelphia, PA - According to various news outlets, the cause of a Philadelphia duck boat accident nearly a year ago has been determined to be cell phone use. On July 7, 2010 a duck boat, which was supposed to take tourists through the streets of Philadelphia and then onto the Delaware River, had some engine problems. While it floated in the river waiting for help to arrive, a barge that was being pushed by a tugboat ran into it, causing the 37 people on the boat to fall into the water. Two of those people, both Hungarian foreign exchange students, drowned.
After an investigation, the National Transportation and Safety Board determined that the man in charge of operating the barge, Matt Devlin, was texting and surfing the web on his cell phone, rather than putting his full attention into directing the barge. He made and received about 21 calls on his cell phone as well. Devlin also moved to a lower wheelhouse for more privacy to use his cell phone, which caused his view to be obstructed even more. All of these actions violated company policy.
Though Devlin refuses to cooperate with investigators, a federal criminal investigation has been launched. Devlin could be facing manslaughter charges. The families of the foreign exchange students have also filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the operators of both the duck boat and the barge, the city of Philadelphia and others.
If you have been severely injured in a Pennsylvania texting and driving accident, you shouldn't have to suffer and pay for expensive medical bills that were caused by another person's negligence. Contact a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney at White & Williams LLP today. We will provide a free, no obligation consultation on your case - 1-877-944-8396.