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Coast Guard boat that killed 8-year-old boy was going too fast, lawsuit says

February 17, 2010 |  7:19 am


A lawsuit filed in San Diego alleges a Coast Guard vessel that slammed into a boat last year during a Christmas boat parade, killing an 8-year-old boy, was traveling at a dangerous rate of speed.

The suit was filed Tuesday on behalf of those inside the pleasure boat and comes as federal officials are trying to determine what caused the crash, which injured several people on the boat.

The accident cast a grim shadow over San Diego's annual Christmas tradition, which features fireworks and scores of boats with holiday lights and decorations.

The boy, Anthony Cole DeWeese of San Diego, was pronounced dead shortly after the crash, and five people, including two children, were injured.

Coast Guard officials declined to provide specifics about the collision, saying it was under investigation.

The DeWeeses and two other families are seeking unspecified damages from the federal government in the negligence and wrongful-death suit.

The boy's father, Alan DeWeese, 44, said he believed the 33-foot Coast Guard vessel was going at a high rate of speed.

Witness Mark Sromalla told The Times that he saw the Coast Guard boat moving through San Diego Bay moments before the crash and believed it was going too fast.

"The speed was incredible," he said. "Even if there was a life-threatening emergency, I'm not sure you would want to go that fast with that many boats" crowded in the water.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Anthony Cole DeWeese. Credit: Fox 5 San Diego