New Video of Duck Boat Accident That Killed 2 Offers an Important Lesson

While this accident happened nearly two years ago, the video footage (below) is new and alarming. With the increase in texting and cell phone use that has taken place for people of all generations, it offers an important lesson in just how important it is to always keep an eye on what’s going on around you, even when you are in calm and uncrowded waters.

Attorneys for the victims of Philadelphia’s deadly Duck boat accident released new, dramatic video of the crash. Their wrongful death case goes to trial in Federal court on Monday. Lawyers for the families of the two victims who drowned, say this new video shows the deckhand on the Duck boat, texting shortly before the accident.

Two students from Hungary died in the crash — Dora Schwendtner, 16 and Szabolcs Prem, 20.

The National Transportation and Safety Board found that cell phones played a major part in the disaster.

The tug boat pilot who was steering the barge was on his cell phone for a family emergency when the barge hit the Duck boat, which was stalled in the Delaware River.

Matthew Devlin pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 366 days in jail.

In the minutes before the crash, Devlin repeatedly made and received calls on his cellphone, surfed the Internet for medical information and moved to a lower wheelhouse for more privacy — putting the stalled duck boat in his blind spot, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to the NTSB investigation, a photo taken six minutes before the collision showed the deckhand on the Duck boat using his cell phone to send a text message.

The crash sent all 37 people on the duck boat into the river, but Schwendtner and Szabolcs Prem did not resurface. The Hungarians were visiting the United States through a church exchange program.

The families of the victims hired Philadelphia’s Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett and Bendesky. They’re suing the owner of the tugboat, K-Sea Transportation Partners and Ride the Ducks International.

Attorneys for the families issued a pre-trial statement saying they plan to prove that the July 2010 crash “was not a freak unpredictable occurrence, but occurred because of multiple egregious failures of K-Sea and Ride the Ducks to properly train their employees and to have adequate policies and procedures in place.”

The trial is expected to last for weeks.

For the complete story, go to www.nbcphiladelphia.com. WARNING: Video shows impact of the boats.

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