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Family pushes for new bill to improve boating safety

After a tragic loss, a family is trying to make boating safer for all Texans. According to News 4, James and Donna Gorzell are pushing for a bill called Kali’s law, which would require all boaters to use kill switches if their boats have the devices.

Kali went overboard

Nearly seven years ago, James and Donna lost their daughter, Kali, in a boating accident. Kali was just sixteen years old and an honor student. She was fishing with friends off Port Aransas when they lost control of the boat. Kali went overboard and hit a propeller.

Family believes a kill switch would have saved her life

According to James, the driver of the boat believes if he had used his kill switch that day, Kali would still be alive.

A kill switch turns a motor off

With a kill switch, the driver of the boat wears a lanyard connected to the switch. Then if the driver loses control of a boat or falls, the kill switch is engaged. This turns the motor off. Some boats even have wireless kill switches that engage if passengers go overboard.

In December, Congress passed a law that requires kill switches on boats shorter than 26 feet in length. But Kali’s family believes requiring all boaters to use kill switches will protect more people from injury.

Agency believes kill switches would have saved 26 lives last year

At recent testimony supporting the bill, the Gorzells were joined by a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department official. The official stated 29 fatal boat accidents were reported in Texas last year, and the state agency believes 26 deaths of those deaths could have been prevented with the use of a kill switch.

James Gorzell stated his family’s hope is no one else will go through what they have gone through.

If you were involved in a boating accident, you may be recovering from serious injuries. Fractures are common in boating accidents, as well as head trauma. You might have a long hospital stay, rehabilitation and may even be dealing with long-term damage.

The actions of another party may have caused your accident. You can hold them responsible for their negligence and pursue compensation for your injuries.

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