A salmon fisherman has sued a boat driver after new footage emerged of the dramatic moment the driver crashed into the fisherman’s boat.
The incident took place in August 2017 near the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.
Bryan Maess, 47, an off-duty Hermiston police officer, was fishing for salmon when he was forced to jump into the water along with colleague Christopher McMahon, 46, and Roni Durham, 57, when this boat was rammed by another.
A GoPro mounted to the Weldcraft fishing boat captured the scene as it unfolded.
The new $372,500 lawsuit by Maess is against Marlin Lee Larsen, 75, who was driving the other boat.
Larsen was cited and released for Reckless Operation, 3 counts of Recklessly Endangering, and 3 counts of Assault in the 4th degree, noted the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office at the time.
The Oregonian reported that Larsen’s son-in-law, who was riding on the boat, told investigators that his father-in-law sometimes uses his cell phone while driving the boat and Larsen had been using his phone on and off during the day of the crash.
The lawsuit claims Larsen was distracted by his cell phone in the time leading up to the crash.
However, Larsen told the publication that he wasn’t using his cellphone while driving his boat, labeling the accusation as “fake news.”
Investigators said that if Maess, McMahon, and Durham didn’t leap from the boat, they would have likely been seriously injured or even killed.
McMahon and McMahon are also planning lawsuits against Larsen.