COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The sole survivor on one of the boats involved in a crash that killed two people on Lake Murray two weeks ago has filed a lawsuit claiming the driver and passengers of the 32' powerboat that collided with the small fishing boat he was on never rendered aid.
Attorney Lisa McPherson filed the complaint in Common Pleas Court on Monday on behalf of her client, Ash Wannamaker and his wife.
Wannamaker, who was also on the 16' Stratos fishing boat, survived and was hospitalized with "severe injuries" to his abdomen, back, arms, legs, and other parts of his body after the force of the crash tossed him into the water, the lawsuit said. Wannamaker was eventually pulled from the lake by other boaters, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit claims Bruce Dyer and the six others on the Macdaddy Intrepid center console powerboat failed to render assistance following the crash despite pleas for help from Wannamaker and others who were in the area at the time.
The suit claims Dyer was in violation of SC Code 50-21-130, which states in part: "It is the duty of the operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty, if he can do so without serious danger to his own vessel, crew, or passengers, to render assistance as may be practical or necessary to persons affected by the collision, accident, or other casualty including personal injury or property damage..."
The suit also claims Dyer was "impaired" during the crash and consumed alcohol or drugs prior to driving the boat. However, a DNR spokesman says Dyer passed a field sobriety test.
The plaintiffs also claim Dyer was driving at an excessive speed, did not keep a proper lookout, did not yield the right of way and failed "to steer the Intrepid in a manner so as to avoid colliding with the fishing boat."
Wannamaker, in the suit, claims his injuries were so grievous that he is "physically and emotionally" unable to do normal, usual, and expected duties in the home and requires physical assistance from his wife.
As a result, Wannamaker is seeking a jury or mediation to determine monetary damages against Dyer and the owner of the boat, BGIN NXS, LLC.
We have reached out to Dyer on Thursday for comment about the lawsuit. He has not yet responded.
Three days after the crash, Dyer released this statement: "This is from Ginger and myself: Since that horrible accident, my wife and our friends and I have been assisting law enforcement. They've asked us to let their investigation go ahead without commenting, and our hearts and prayers are with everyone involved."
Nobody has been criminally charged in connection with the collision.
DNR's final report on the investigation has not yet been completed.