The family of a woman struck by a runaway boat two years ago on the Fourth of July is suing three Coeur d’Alene men over the accident.
Dawn Driscoll, her husband and their four children filed suit Thursday in Kootenai County against Gye St.
Louis, Richard Brooke and David Kilgore of Coeur d’Alene.
The Driscolls and their children, who now live in New Jersey, were spending Independence Day at the North Idaho College Beach in 1995 when they noticed a small boat headed for the shore. St. Louis had been operating the 15-foot Sea-Doo Jazz motorboat with his son and Kilgore as passengers. According to the suit, the three had been spinning “doughnuts,” in the water when St. Louis lost control, causing all three to be thrown from the boat.
The boat sped from Kidd Island Bay at full throttle for more than two miles before careening into the beach, plowing across the picnic blanket where the Driscolls had been relaxing. The couple pushed their children out of way, but the boat smashed into Dawn Driscoll’s right side, throwing her through the air.
At Kootenai Medical Center she was diagnosed with head and facial injuries, dental fractures, and upper arm, eye and chin lacerations.
The suit argues Brooke is negligent for not properly training St. Louis before allowing him to borrow the boat. David Kilgore “should have known of the gross carelessness of Gye St. Louis in his operation of the boat,” the suit said.
St. Louis, the suit alleges, failed to operate the boat in a safe and careful manner, operated at reckless speed and failed to wear the rope that engages the automatic kill switch.
One end of the rope attaches to the boat’s kill switch and the other is supposed to be attached to the boat driver so that if the driver goes overboard, the switch is triggered, stopping the vessel in the water.
The family is suing for medical expenses, lost past and future wages, pain and suffering, loss of spousal consortium, loss of parent-child relationships and attorneys fees.
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