Thursday, September 10, 2009

Boat Crash Enters Gov Race

Republican Susana Martinez is the first gubernatorial candidate to make a statement about this weekend's boat crash at Elephant Butte Lake. :

In a news release, Martinez said,
"The law requires that ‘the operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident…shall give his name, address, and identification of his vessel, in writing, to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision.’

“From the current media reports, it is not clear that Governor Bill Richardson’s chief-of-staff complied with the law.

“This incident also raises the bigger issue of how boating crashes are handled under current law. The legislature should seriously consider strengthening the boating laws to close any loopholes that allow operators to leave the scene of a crash before law enforcement is contacted, arrives, and investigates. Investigations into boating crashes should not be handled any less seriously than those involving motor vehicles.

“This incident also demonstrates the need to ensure our boating laws are reviewed, strengthened and enforced for the protection of New Mexico’s citizens.”

In fairness, I don't know whether Condit gave his information in writing to the investigator, but I don't think there's evidence he tried to conceal his name, address, etc. That's all in the report.

But Martinez's second point -- the need to strengthen boating laws -- is valid. A lot of people were shocked to learn that you can leave the accident scene and wait two days to contact authorities.