Columbia boating accident where man died, alcohol played role

According to The Seattle Times, Michael J. Nethercutt, a Kennewick resident, ran into an anchored boat owned by 74 year old Edward Gilbert on the Columbia River near Finely. Both boats fell apart on impact and Edward Gilbert is missing and presumed dead. His wife, Patricia Gilbert, was rescued from the river, treated for her injuries and has since been released from the hospital. Gilbert founded a Tri-Cities pizza parlor, Hubby’s Pizza Kitchen. He was also a member of the Clover Island Yacht Club He had been fishing along the riverbank when his boat was hit.

In a posting a few days ago, we reported that it appeared as if the anchored boat contained no passengers. Now the facts are starting to come out and they reveal that alcohol played in a role in the tragic boating accident that resulted in the death of a boater.

Nethercutt is accused of operating his boat while intoxicated. He blood-alcohol level was 0.324 after the crash. In Washington State, 0.08 is legally intoxicated. Nethercutt is currently in Kennewick General Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. He is under guard by a Benton County sheriff’s deputy and he faces charge of homicide by boat and assault by watercraft. His bail is set at $15,000.

According to the Washington State Parks and Recreation department, approximately 50% of all boating accidents in Washington state involve alcohol. It is early in the boating season and we hope that boaters heed the law and not operate boats in a negligent manner or under the influence of alcohol. If they do, they are 10 times more likely to be killed in a boating accident.

This information was brought to you by Washington Injury Attorney, a service of The Farber Law Group. As Bellevue-based boating accident attorney, we represent people injured or killed in boating accidents in Western Washington, the Puget Sound, Lake Washington and on the Columbia River and Lake Chelan.

Contact us today for a free case consultation.