Fisherman sues after boat crash near Hammond

A sport fisherman has filed a lawsuit over a boat crash near Hammond in August.

A sport fisherman has filed a lawsuit after being rammed in a harrowing boat crash on the Columbia River near Hammond in August.

Bryan Maess is suing the alleged driver of the boat — Marlin Lee Larsen — for $372,500 after his boat was slammed while trolling for Chinook salmon during the popular Buoy 10 fishery season. The lawsuit claims Larsen caused physical and emotional injury in his negligence prior to the crash.

Maess, Christopher McMahon and Roni Durham were standing in a 20-foot Weldcraft about 8:30 a.m. near Tansy Point when they noticed a 31-foot Bayliner Trophy speeding toward them. After yelling at the boat and waving their hands, the trio leaped into the river seconds before crash. The three were eventually pulled from the water and treated at Columbia Memorial Hospital for minor injuries. Their boat was severely damaged by the crash.

The lawsuit alleges Larsen was traveling at an excessive speed, distracted from using his cellphone and did not have one of the two other occupants of the vessel keep watch of surrounding boat traffic.

Maess sustained injuries to the right side of his body. He continues to wear a knee brace on his knee, his ankle still hurts and a wound on his shin has not fully healed, according to the lawsuit. He initially experienced neck pain, vision issues, headaches and a hyperextended left thumb after floating with the debris from the wreck in water.

The lawsuit also claims Maess, a 47-year-old sergeant with the Hermiston Police Department, suffered emotionally and financially after needing to take time off work.

Larsen, 75, pleaded not guilty in September to three counts of fourth-degree assault, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and one reckless operation of a boat charge in connection with the case. An early resolution conference in the criminal case has been scheduled for later this month.

Larsen, a Roseburg resident who owns the Harborview Resort in Hammond, could not be reached for comment Tuesday by The Daily Astorian. He told The Oregonian last week that allegations he was using his cellphone before the crash are “fake news.”

A video of the incident — taken from a camera on the smaller boat — was shared on Facebook by Angling Oregon — a website operated by McMahon.

• Watch the video:

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