Fishermen abandon ship before motorboat crash

Jan. 19 (UPI) — An Oregon fisherman whose video camera recorded him and his comrades abandoning ship seconds before a crash with a motorboat is suing the other driver.

A video posted to YouTube by Angling Oregon shows the channel’s owner, Christopher McMahon, 46, jumping into the Columbia River with friends Bryan Maess, 47, and Roni Durham, 57, as a motorboat speeds toward their vessel and ultimately collides with the smaller craft off the coast of Fort Stevens State Park.

The driver of the other boat, Marlin Lee Larsen, 75, was charged with reckless operation of a boat, fourth-degree assault and recklessly endangering the lives of others.

Larsen told Clatsop County sheriff’s deputies after the Aug. 12 incident that he was sitting down at the time, causing the boat’s dashboard to block his view. He admitted he probably should have been standing while driving the boat, but he denied accusations from his son-in-law that he was on his cellphone at the time of the crash.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the criminal case, which is ongoing.

Maess has now filed a $372,000 lawsuit against Larsen, alleging the other man was distracted by his phone at the time of the crash. The suit alleges Maess suffered vision problems, headaches and injuries to his ankle, leg and arm as a result of jumping into the river to avoid the crash.

Attorneys for McMahon and Durham, who suffered injuries including minor cuts and hypothermia, say they also plan to file lawsuits against Larsen.


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