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No charges to be filed in boating fatality

LAKE HAVASU CITY – A boating fatality on Lake Havasu has been ruled an accident for which no criminal charges will be filed. The Mohave County attorney’s office has determined that prosecution is unwarranted in the August 21, 2019 death of Adam Gomez, 17, Redondo Beach.

Gomez was one of four teenagers and one of their mothers, Raina Phillips, aboard a boat that was cruising Lake Havasu when the boys decided to jump into the water. Deputy county attorney Bob Moon said sheriff’s office reports indicate that three boys first made it safely into the water.

Phillips was operating the watercraft when Gomez slipped when jumping in at Thompson Bay. Reports indicate he was unable to safely clear the boat and was struck by its propeller.

Gomez’ body was recovered two days later.

The death investigation revealed that Phillips, 45, Salem, Oregon was not impaired and there were no issues with speed, boat operation or other factors that would give rise to finding Phillips at fault.

“There is insufficient evidence of recklessness,” Moon wrote in a memorandum explaining why no charges will be filed. He said there is no direct cause of what has been branded an accidental death.

Moon determined there’s no basis for criminal prosecution, though civil litigation might be possible.

  • Dave Hawkins

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