Serious Boat Crash Leaves Two Passengers With Serious Life-Altering Injuries

Alcohol and boating do not mix. Especially when the vessel’s captain is drinking, the mixture of alcohol and boating can result in serious hazard for the vessel’s occupants. This tragic fact was proved yet again during a boating outing in late 2019 when a boat captain crashed into a jetty, seriously injuring his passengers. The victims retained Hickey Law Firm, P.A. to represent them in seeking justice after this horrible crash.

Below is an excerpt of the complaint Hickey Law Firm, P.A. filed on behalf of the victims of this Fort Lauderdale area boating crash.

“On December 30, 2019, Defendant, DANIEL TOWRISS, invited JARRET SILAGYI and LAUREN SILAGYI out on TOWRISS’ recently acquired vessel, a 42’ Hydra Sport Custom Boats fishing boat. At approximately, 10:30 pm, TOWRISS set off from the dock behind his Fort Lauderdale home located at 2551 Del Lago Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.  TOWRISS carried three passengers including JARRET and LAUREN SILAGYI as well as CASSIDY RUDMAN, TOWRISS’ significant other.  From the dock behind his home, TOWRISS navigated the vessel south through the intercoastal waterway and out onto the ocean through the inlet located closest to Port Everglades.   TOWRISS kept the boat out in the ocean for approximately one and a half hours before he started for home with his passengers onboard.

In the hours just prior to the boat trip on the night of December 30, 2019, Defendant TOWRISS consumed at least one mixed drink and drank a portion of two to three bottles of wine. During the time on the water captaining his 42-foot, 1700 horsepower vessel, which weighed in excess of 25,000 pounds (with its four outboard Yamaha engines included), TOWRISS drank another mixed drink cocktail. While consuming this drink out on the water, TOWRISS became distracted from his duties as captain of his boat. TOWRISS did not pay attention to the helm.  TOWRISS permitted the boat to drift in an erratic way on the open water in dark, nighttime conditions. TOWRISS did not maintain awareness of his surroundings on the water.

TOWRISS intended to return through the same inlet he exited approximately an hour and a half before.  The approach to the inlet from the Atlantic side required reasonable care and skill given the dark conditions on the water.  Instead of exercising care, TOWRISS—who was operating his vessel after several alcoholic drinks that evening–continued to demonstrate a lack awareness of his surroundings.  TOWRISS failed to keep a look out for hazards in the water, like the jetty on the southside of the inlet.  Considering the dark conditions and other circumstances described herein, TOWRISS chose to operate his vessel—which was 42 feet long and featured four out-board engines–at an unsafe and excessive speed.   TOWRISS drove the boat at such a speed that it was planing across the water on the return trip toward Fort Lauderdale.  TOWRISS drove the boat so fast that Plaintiff JARRET SILAGYI felt the need to grab a part of the subject boat as it hurtled back in the direction of the southside jetty near the inlet closest to Port Everglades.   After one failed attempt to find the inlet into the intercoastal, Defendant TOWRISS powered the vessel back up to try to make the passage toward the inlet a second time.   He continued to lack the awareness of his surroundings, failed to use navigational aids, and operated the vessel at an excessive speed.

Ultimately, as captain of the vessel TOWRISS committed the acts and omissions described herein and caused his 42’ Hydra Sport Custom fishing boat, a/k/a BLUE STEEL, to collide with the jetty on the southside of the inlet nearest Port Everglades at approximately 12:14 am on December 31, 2019 on his second attempt to make the inlet.   The actions of Defendant TOWRISS caused both LAUREN SILAGYI and JARRET SILAGYI to be ejected from the vessel and onto the rocks of the jetty.  Fire rescue arrived shortly after the impact and transported JARRET SILAGYI and LAUREN SILAGYI to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, FL. The careless acts and omissions of the Defendant(s) caused the Plaintiffs to suffer catastrophic injuries resulting in substantial economic and non-economic damages in the past and in the future.
The crash caused LAUREN SILAGYI to suffer catastrophic injuries including but not necessarily limited to skull fracture, traumatic brain injury, midline shift of the brain, brain bleeding, broken nose, permanent facial scarring and disfigurement, tibial plateau fracture of the right leg, and fractured ribs.  LAUREN SILAGYI has already undergone three surgeries due to the Defendant’s acts, including a right craniotomy for evacuation of epidural hematoma and elevation of distressed skull fracture on December 31, 2019; an open reduction internal fixation of the medial tibial plateau fracture on January 2, 2020; and a right cranioplasty on February 21, 2020.

JARRET SILAGYI also suffered serious injuries, including but not limited to loss of consciousness, head trauma, complex laceration to his lip, pleural effusion, and nasal fracture.”

Talk to our experienced Florida boat accident attorneys today

If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, talk to the legal team at Hickey Law Firm. As one of only a few lawyers in Florida or across the country who has received Board Certification in Maritime Law, Attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey has the specialized experience you need to recover the compensation you deserve for your losses.

To schedule a consultation, call 305-371-8000 or fill out our contact form today. We can talk about your case and answer all of your questions. Initial consultations are free, and every case is taken on a contingency basis.

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