Editorial: Child’s death prompted real action – New York News

Charlotte McCue may be saving lives, even in death.


Charlotte is the 8-year-old California girl who died in her mother’s arms on Lake George last summer after the boat she was riding in with her family was struck by another boat driven by an operator reportedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes, deaths like these are chalked up as tragic and sad, and people move on.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case this time.

It instead has served as a wakeup call to the dangers of boating while intoxicated (BWI). And the proof that it’s working is in the 19 arrests made on Lake George this summer of boaters under the influence.

In the previous three years, the agencies patrolling the lake had only made six BWI arrests — combined.

The child’s unnecessary death prompted more calls for more patrols by the agencies responsible for the lake, including the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and the Lake George Park Commission. They added a new night patrol — Charlotte’s boat was struck at 8:30 at night — which resulted in eight BWI arrests.

Officials in other lakes also stepped up patrols in the wake of the accident and the subsequent publicity of the trial of suspect Alexander West that took place this summer.

In addition to the higher numbers of BWI arrests, the Park Commission noted a significant drop in the number of boating crashes on the lake — from 21 a year ago to 8 this year.

None of the accidents resulted in injuries

That’s not a statistical anomaly. That’s progress.

The progress comes from the combined educational and enforcement efforts.

With the stepped up…

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