Two years ago, over the July 4th holiday, Eulices Alvarez Barrios tossed a drunken Domingo Vilalta, 22, off of his idle boat, leaving the passenger to fend for himself in the “busy” Intracoastal Waterway. Vilalta died when he was caught by the propellers of a nearby vessel and “slashed to death”. Recently, Miami-Dade prosecutors charged Barrios with manslaughter for throwing Vilalta off of his boat.
According to Barrios’ defense attorney, the whole event was an accident. While aboard Barrios’ boat, Vilalta, who was drunk and under the influence of drugs, thrust the boat’s throttle and sent the boat forward. The sudden force of the boat forced a woman overboard, where she and another woman were almost “cut to ribbons” by the boat’s propellers. Barrios then kicked Vilalta off the boat. Barrios left the scene believing, as did everyone else aboard the boat, that Vilalta had boarded a friend’s nearby boat.
Barrios did not Vilalta when he came aboard his boat; instead, Vilalta came along with two female passengers. The boat left for the Intracoastal Waterway sandbar to meet up with other boats. According to prosecutors, Barrios hosted a party boat and provided the music and liquor to his passengers. Vilalta was smoking marijuana and “acting obnoxious” towards women at the sandbar party. Barrios’ boat left to get some dinner around 8:00 p.m. When Barrios put the boat in neutral to check something, one female passenger hopped into the water, and Vilalta forced the boat forward, almost injuring the women. The women swam to a nearby friend’s boat while Barrios “sprang into action,” shutting off the engines and chastising Vilalta. Barrios hurled Vilalta, who was not wearing a life vest, into the water. Vilalta landed near the boat that the women had boarded. Barrios pointed to the other driver, a friend of his, and instructed him to let Vilalta board. All passengers on Barrios’ boat believed Vilalta had boarded the boat. One witness stated that she saw Vilalta clinging to the front of the other boat but believed he eventually boarded the boat. Both boats drove away when one passenger noticed Vilalta was not on either boat. Both drivers searched for him and called police. Vilalta’s body was found two days later. Barrios faces 15 years in prison if convicted.
Miami boating death case goes to trial, www.miamiherald.com August 29, 2012
Sadly, a young man lost his life far too soon. Every day, inexperienced drivers take to the water in South Florida for a day of fun and sun out on their boats. No one plans to be in a boat accident, however, when waters are rough or alcohol use is coupled with an inexperienced driver, tragic injuries and fatalities can result. The personal injury attorneys at the Friedland Law Group are dedicated to helping tragic boating accident and wrongful death victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another person’s negligence actions or inactions, contact the Friedland Law Group today! The Miami personal injury attorneys are committed to helping accident victims!
The Miami motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation. Call today and let our family take care of your family!