Fatal Coast Guard Case Back in Court

[NECNMIGR] 565312.jpg
Spencer Thornberg

The families involved in a Coast Guard boat crash that killed an 8-year-old boy in December were in court Thursday in connection to  their lawsuit alleging for wrongful death and negligence.

The three Rancho Peñasquitos families involved are hoping to make the Coast Guard service overhaul its operations on San Diego Bay, according to one of the families' lawyers.

One of the three agencies investigating the incident, the Port of San Diego's Harbor Police, has completed its report and turned it over to the district Attorney's office. That document will not be made public because it's part of an ongoing investigation, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

Anthony Cole DeWeese, 8, was killed when a U.S. Coast Guard and a private boat collided on San Diego Bay on Dec. 20. The accident was witnessed by crowds of people drawn to the water for the annual boat parade.

Anthony was on board the 26-foot Sea Ray with family, getting ready to watch dozens of boats participate in the second weekend of the Parade of Lights. The annual event draws thousands to the edges of San Diego Bay.

The Coast Guard is unable to comment about the ongoing litigation at this time.

At the time of the accident, the Coast Guard officials said one of its boats was responding to a report of a grounded vessel around 6 p.m. when it collided with the boat carrying DeWeese and 12 other people. Neither boat was participating in the parade, according to a parade spokesman.

The boy's father, Alan DeWeese, told The Associated Pressthat  he tried to get out of the way of the Coast Guard boat that he estimated was traveling between 30-40 knots. DeWeese believes he was moving at 2 -3 knots.

I thought he was going to turn at some point," DeWeese said. "He came up so fast I didn't have time to react.

"The harsh sound of the collision could be heard clear across the bay over the parade boats blowing horns and playing Christmas music," witness Roger Parrish wrote in an e-mail sent to NBCSanDiego

Anthony Cole DeWeese was first taken to Harbor Island where paramedics tried to revive him. He was later pronounced dead at UCSD Hospital.

"He enjoyed life to the fullest," the boy's father said Monday.

Five people on the recreational boat received “major traumas,” according to fire department spokesperson Maurice Luque.

Two other children were taken to Rady Children's Hospital, and three adults were transported to University of California, San Diego Medical Center, said Luque.

Authorities have not said how the accident occurred, but it came just after sundown in clear weather with light winds.The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an independent investigation which could take 12 to 18 months.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us