Almost two years after an incident in Madison, Indiana in which a car careened through several speedboat racing fans along the Ohio River, victims have begun to file personal injury suits against the organizers of the Madison Regatta claiming negligence.


On June 27, 58-year-old Madison resident Priscilla “Jean” Johnson filed suit against Madison Regatta Inc. and the American Boat Racing Association alleging that she sustained severe and permanent personal injuries, incurred lost wages, and endured pain because of the incident.


After the accident on July 2, 2006, Johnson required air transport to University Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky for the injuries she sustained to her head and chest. She also suffered open fractures to her extremities and had to be placed on a ventilator in critical condition.


Johnson’s husband, David Johnson, has also been named as a plaintiff in the suit seeking damages for lost services, society, and companionship from his wife.


A similar suit was filed on June 23 by 28-year-old Madison Heights, Michigan resident Jennifer Willette, who suffered the most severe injuries of the accident’s victims. Her injuries required that her left arm and leg be amputated.


Both suits were filed seeking unspecified damages, as the two-year statute of limitations was nearing expiration. The suits alleged negligence on the part of the defendants for their failure to provide reasonable protection for the spectators.


The car’s driver, 18-year-old Michael Bowen, pled guilty to three counts on of criminal recklessness causing serious bodily injury and three counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance in April of last year.


Bowen admitted that he had been smoking marijuana the night before the accident. Charges that he had been under the influence of Freon were dropped by prosecutors.

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