An Arlington business man was killed and another was seriously injured after the boat they were on struck a bridge on Cedar Creek Reservoir on Friday, July 22. Alcohol is believed to have played a role in the accident.
According to a spokesman with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the men were with other adults and teens on a Regal pleasure boat when it struck the Texas 198 bridge near Payne Springs around 11:30 p.m. The lake is located in Kaufman and Henderson counties southeast of Fort Worth.
The man was transported by helicopter to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The second man remains in critical condition as of Monday, according to authorities.
The operator of the boat, a 58-year-old Arlington man, was arrested and booked into the Henderson County Jail on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. He was released after posting bail. With the investigation continuing, it remains unknown if the boat driver will face additional charges.
A Dangerous Obstacle
Locally, the bridge is known as the “low bridge” for its low clearance, which locals know can be difficult to move through during high tide. According to nearby residents, the bridge has a 20-foot clearance at the center, but drops significantly on the edges near land.
Boaters are continually cautioned about the low bridge, especially when attempting to navigate under the bridge at night. Because there are no lights on the bridge it can be difficult to see.
The Parks and Wildlife spokesman noted that the field report for the incident indicated that the men were standing on the boat, however, additional evidence shows that that may not be true.
The owner of a nearby marina noted that many of the highway bridges on the lake have had serious incidents in the past. He stated that the Texas 198 bridge is an obstacle that boaters have to be aware of and on the lookout for.
Boating, like driving an automobile, is a task that requires a driver’s utmost attention. When negligence, such as driving while intoxicated, plays a role in causing an accident, anyone who is injured or killed may be entitled to seek compensation. A Fort Worth personal injury attorney can help you fight for the justice you deserve.
Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule a free consultation to find out if you have a case.