There Ought To Be A Law

Panel votes to make boat hit-and-run a felony

By Lee Davidson The Salt Lake Tribune  Feb 03 2012 03:53PM

After witnesses said boaters at Pineview Reservoir left a swimmer to bleed to death after they struck her last summer, lawmakers advanced a bill Friday to make leaving the scene of a boating accident clearly illegal.

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously Friday to pass HB92 and send it to the full House. It requires people who have “reason to believe” they have been in a boating accident to remain at the scene. It makes it a felony to flee the scene when someone is killed, and a misdemeanor in other cases.

Its sponsor, Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, said it comes in response to an Aug. 21 incident where Esther Fujimoto, 49, a University of Utah researcher, died after being struck by a boat on Pineview Reservoir.

A witness told deputies that men in the boat yelled at the woman to see if she was all right — but then fled without offering aid. Her screams were heard by another passer-by, who rowed to her. As he called 911, he was unable to pull her into the boat, but held her head above the water.

Rescuers arrived and performed CPR, but Fujimoto — who suffered lacerations to her torso from the motorboat’s propeller — died before she reached shore.

Our view from the helm: It is truly sad that our government needs to pass legislation that makes “boat hit-and-run” a felony because of man's inhumanity to man, chilling indifference, or just outright selfishness.

 In short things like what happened to Esther Fujimoto should never happen to anyone, anywhere. Get it together people!