A man has been charged with boating while intoxicated after he slammed his boat into a Long Island sea wall, killing a 27-year-old woman on board and seriously injuring all three additional occupants. Kelley Blanchard was killed when the 39-foot Cobalt struck a bulkhead on Great Peconic Bay.
Sen. Jim Gaughran, D-NY, called for revoking the drivers’ licenses of anyone convicted of boating while intoxicated. "Drunk boaters who recklessly jeopardize the safety of others should not be allowed on waterways or our roadways," Gaughran said in a statement, according to Newsday.
The boat’s operator, 48-year-old Frank DiStefano, and 41-year-old Nick Soullas, and 29-year-old Megan Blanchard, Kelley’s sister, all suffered severe injuries, according to the New York Post.
DiStefano, who was charged with boating while intoxicated, owns a Long Island pizzeria where Kelley and Megan worked as waitresses, a former manager at the eatery told The Post.
Gaughran earlier called for the passage of his proposed legislation that would revoke the driver's license of anyone convicted of boating while intoxicated.
In a separate bill, Gaughran also wants to raise BWI laws to a felony from its current misdemeanor status. "While drunk boaters pose a danger to themselves and others, people who knowingly choose to operate a boat under the influence with a child have made a conscious decision to put that child in harm and as adults we have to step forward in doing something about it," Gaughran said in a statement. "It's unacceptable."