Seal Beach, CA Ski Boat Accident, Oct 1984


Seal Beach, Calif. -- Three of the five people killed in Sunday's boating accident drowned and did not die from massive internal injuries as originally thought, according to preliminary autopsy results released by the county Coroner's Office on Tuesday.
ANTHONY WAYNE SUTTON, 27, of Seal Beach, KATHY WEAVER, 24, of Laguna Beach, and RONALD MYERS, 22, of Seal Beach drowned when the ski boat in which they were riding early Sunday slammed into a concrete mooring inside the entrance to Anaheim Bay.
PATRICIA HULINGS, 20, of Downey and JOHN BAKOS, 22, of Seal Beach died as a result of internal injuries, county sheriff's Lt. Bob Kemmis said.
The driver of the boat, VIRL EARLES, 28, of Seal Beach, and another passenger, STEPHEN BRENNAN, 24, of Westminster, were in serious condition this morning at Los Alamitos Medical Center.
Two other passengers, CAROL KEMBLE, 25, of Laguna Beach, and ENREST CHAVEZ, 24, of Bakersfield, were treated for minor injuries and released.
Sunday's accident also raised issues similar to those in the current crackdown on highway drunken drivers.
A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Chacon, D-San Diego, that seeks to increase penalties for alcohol and drug releated boating accidents passed, but it is on hold pending a two-year study of the issue by the Department of Boating and Waterways.
Many of the survivors of the crash and their families were reluctant to discuss the tragedy.
A Mass wasa scheduled this morning for BAKOS at Our Lady of the Rosary in Paramount. A memorial service for HULINGS was to be held today at Forest Lawn Mortuary in Cypress. A graveside memorial service will be held at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier for SUTTON at 1 p.m. Saturday. Services for MYERS are private, and WEAVER'S body was being shipped to Arkansas, where services will be held Thursday.
It was reported Monday that EARLES was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .11 percent at the time of the crash, which exceeds the legal limit for driving a car. But unlike state motor vehicle law, which designates a blood-alcohol level in excess of .10 percent as unlawful, boating statutes contain no such specifications.
Kemmis said the county District Attorney's Office would be reviewing the case, but no charges were expected to be filed this week.
No life jackets were found on any of the crash victims or in the vicinity of the accident. Carl Moore, a spokesman for the state Department of Boating and Waterways, said operators are responsible for making sure their craft are equipped with life jackets.

Orange County Register Santa Ana California 1984-10-31