PHILADELPHIA – The mate piloting a tug boat in last summer’s deadly collision of a tourist boat and a barge was consumed by a family emergency and on his cell phone at the time, a new government report on the crash revealed Monday.
The mate told a tugboat company manager he had learned that day of a life-threatening medical emergency involving his young son, the National Transportation Safety Board report said. The mate, who was not identified, made or received 21 calls on his personal cell phone from the time he took the wheel at noon until the 2:37 p.m. crash.
The barge struck a disabled amphibious “duck boat” on July 7, killing two Hungarian students and plunging 35 other people into the Delaware River. The NTSB report does not analyze what caused the crash.
The 4,400-page report released Monday also said the mate did not assign a lookout on the high-sitting barge as it was being pushed from behind by the small tug.
Now explain to me again how cell phones and vehicles aren’t a dangerous combination?