California man sentenced for fatal jet ski accident near Laughlin

Colorado River - Laughlin - Laughlin, NV

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

Las Vegas, NV: A 35-year-old Los Angeles man has been sentenced to 4 to 10 years in prison for his part in a deadly jet ski accident that claimed the life of a New York woman in August of 2020.

    Samir Hernandez crashed his personal watercraft (PWC) into the back of another PWC on Aug. 24, killing 23-year-old Tammie Lynch of New York. Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens on scene questioned the operators for both PWCs and found Hernandez to be under the influence. He was placed under arrest and charged with homicide by vessel, among other charges. Lynch was in Nevada for the week celebrating her boyfriend’s birthday.

    Hernandez pled guilty to operation of a power vessel under the influence causing death, a category B felony, in Clark County District Court. He was also ordered to pay $9,500 in restitution to the victim’s family as well as $178 administrative fees.

    “This is not how a day on the water is supposed to end,” said Game Warden Captain Brian Bowles, boating law administrator for Nevada.” But because this individual made the decision to drink and head out on the river, he’s headed to prison and a young woman’s life is tragically cut short and her family and friends are left devastated. Our wardens have seen this scenario play out time and time again and it’s why we are so adamant that you never drink when operating a boat.”

    According to the US Coast Guard’s annual report, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.