By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A major lawsuit has been filed more than a year after a popular boat race left a 7-year-old girl dead and more than dozen people injured.

A late June day on the water took a devastating turn for 7-year-old Julianne Rosela and her family, after a vessel lost control during the “Thunder on the Narrows” boat race near Kent Island and crashed into a crowd of spectators.

“It’s been life changing obviously” says Baltimore attorney Robert Weltchek, who represents 11 of the plaintiffs listed in the 89-page suit.

He says they are “Eastern Shore boating people,” who are “not looking to harm the boating industry.”

Still, he says, Rosela’s death was the result of “a series of gross, gross, careless, reckless errors on behalf of the sponsors of the race.”

Describing the day, he says “there was blood in the water… Total chaos, boats flipped over.”

The suit is filed against those behind the race, including the American Power Boat Association and the Kent Narrows Racing Association, alleging egregious violations of basic safety regulations. It claims spectators were way closer to the course than they should have been.

The race was cancelled this past June due to sediment build up in the water.

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Rick Ritter


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