Man who lost eye in boat crash claims driver was drunk

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 16, 2012, 10:20am

GALVESTON - A Galveston County man who lost an eye in a boat ride has filed suit against the man he claims was drunk while operating the vessel.

Charles Strahan filed the suit Dec. 12 in Galveston County District Court against Orion Ventures Inc., Turtle Entertainment LLC and League City resident Darrell Shannon.

According to the complaint, Shannon was intoxicated during the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 2010, when he operated his boat with Strahan and Jenny Shetler as passengers.

Toward the end of the ride, Shannon reportedly instructed Strahan to stick his head off the side of the vessel to look for a harbor marker, and "in his drunken state," drove the boat too close to the marker, which struck Strahan, according to the suit.

Strahan suffered severe injuries to his face and frontal lobe and also lost an eye.

Orion Venture and Turtle Entertainment own and operate Lance's Turtle Bar, which allegedly served Shannon alcohol prior to the incident.

The suit states the bar continued to serve Shannon "copious" amounts of alcoholic beverages though it was aware he "was showing obvious signs of intoxication that any casual observer, let alone a provider of alcohol, should have been able to recognize."

Shetler, who is also a plaintiff, states she was by others aboard the boat "not to look" because it was believed that Strahan died when the marker struck him. She claims she continually experiences emotional trauma after witnessing her companion's "near decapitation."

The plaintiffs seek more than $50,000 in damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Paul H. Doyle of Houston is representing them.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox.

Case No. 11-cv-1993

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