David Bruce Dyer was driving the Intrepid speedboat that collided with a bass boat on Lake Murray the night of April 21. The driver of the bass boat, Danny Phillips, was killed along with his friend and passenger, Shawn Lanier.
Lanier’s parents filed a wrongful death suit last month against Dyer and the company that owns his boat, alleging recklessness and negligence in Dyer’s operation of the boat and what the suit says was Dyer’s lack of assistance to the bass boat passengers immediately after the crash. Dyer’s response includes a third-party complaint against the estate of Phillips.
Investigators with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources determined that Phillips was at fault and that Dyer should not be charged.
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Charleston attorney David M. Collins filed a response to the suit on behalf of Dyer that denies wrongdoing and, instead, says Phillips was negligent. The third party complaint names as a defendant Savannah Phillips, who is Phillips’ widow and the personal representative of his estate.
“These Defendants took all reasonable precautions and acted in a proper and seamanlike manner on the voyage in question, and the collision was solely the part of (Phillips),” the third-party complaint says. “In the alternative, the collision was an inevitable accident and no claim should lie against these Defendants.”
Toxicology testing showed Phillips had alcohol and marijuana in his system when he died, which is noted in Dyer’s third party complaint against Phillips’ estate. DNR officers conducted sobriety testing on Dyer shortly after the crash and determined he was not impaired.
The complaint goes on to allege, among other things, that Phillips and his passengers failed to keep a proper lookout, that Phillips failed to maintain a safe speed, and that the bass boat either was not equipped with or was not displaying proper navigational lighting.
Dyer suffered personal injuries and emotional distress from the crash, the complaint says, adding that Dyer and his company are entitled to indemnity or contribution from Phillips’ estate for any money awarded to the Laniers.
The complaint asks that the Laniers’ suit be dismissed and that judgment be entered against Phillips’ estate for Dyer, his company and their damages. It does not specify an amount.
Ashley Wannamaker, the surviving passenger in the bass boat, filed a personal injury suit against Dyer shortly after the crash to which Dyer has not yet responded.