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California Teens Killed in Colorado River Boat Accident

July 17, 2008

A summer vacation on the Colorado River tuned into a tragic boat accident for two families from Murrieta. On the 5th of July, 19-year-old Desiree Hobill and her friend 16-year-old Tiffany Breslin were killed when the watercraft that they were driving on the river was struck by a boat.

Desiree’s family lives in Murrieta, and the family once lived in Torrance where she went to school. On the day of the boat accident, the two teenagers were riding a Sea Doo personal watercraft. Their family members were a little ahead of them on the river. Suddenly, the watercraft collided with a boat operated by Daniel Ashcraft of Tustin. The watercraft was smashed beyond recognition and the girls suffered catastrophic injuries. They were rushed to the Colorado River Medical Center where Hobill was pronounced dead. Breslin, a Murrieta resident, was airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas where she died a day later.

The boat operator insists that the watercraft came right at him. He says he tried to avoid the watercraft, but could not prevent the boat accident. He also claims that the two girls were looking elsewhere at the time of collision, and were not focusing ahead. Desiree’s family denies this part of his story vehemently. According to them, the girls in fact, had stopped the watercraft to switch positions so Tiffany could take over the watercraft. At this point, the boat slammed against the craft.

Desiree’s family is adamant that their daughter could never have driven recklessly. She was infuriated by people who didn’t follow the rules of the water, and could not, they believe, have been able to be careless as she steered the craft.

In a tragedy like this, when lives are snuffed out, it’s hard to turn away from the human suffering behind the boat accident. Desiree was a fine student who planned to attend a four year college, and major in aeronautical engineering. She was a softball enthusiast, and was a member of the Murrieta Valley Girls Softball league. This was a girl who was full of sunshine and full of promise. Same goes for 16-year-old Tiffany too. It’s doubly sad when two young and promising lives are lost so unnecessarily.

Whether the boat accident was preventable or not, and where the blame lies, only time will tell. The police are still conducting investigations into the cause of the accident, and have ruled out that alcohol was not a factor in the case. There will have to be serious investigations if the cause is to be determined, especially considering that both parties have widely differing accounts of the scene of the boat accident.

The Reeves Law Group is a law firm with offices throughout California dedicated exclusively to the representation of personal injury victims, including victims of boat accidents. Please visit our website at If you desire a free consultation on a personal injury matter, please call us at (800) 644-8000 or email us.

Posted by Robert Reeves at 1:40 pm - no comments
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