Huntington Beach family sues city for wrongful death
Posted on Mar 24, 2010
The parents of a Huntington Beach junior lifeguard who was killed in a training accident last July have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city.
Eleven-year-old Alyssa Squirrell was killed during a training exercise. Junior lifeguards jumped off the back of a moving boat into the ocean. Squirrel had jumped and was on her way to rejoin her training group when the boat turned around and she was struck by the propellers. The boat was driven by marine safety officer Greg Crow.
Squirrell sustained deep cuts to her leg and hip. She died while undergoing surgery for her injuries.
The lawsuit alleges that the boat was not operated in a safe manner and that the safety violated rules requiring a boat to decrease speed within 100 feet of swimmers. It also claims that employees did not do a “proper lookout” and that there were not enough flotation devices on the boat. The suit also claims general negligence of the employees and negligent operation of the training vessel.
Greg Crow has been a training officer in the Junior Lifeguard Program for more than 20 years and is licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. He received the Public Safety Medal of Valor for rescuing occupants of a sinking boat on the high seas. Two other employees are also named in the lawsuit.
Rick and Pam Squirrel are seeking more than $10,000 in damages for the death of their daughter.