REDWOOD CITY -- A Santa Cruz man faces misdemeanor charges for a boat crash off Brisbane last year that led to the drowning death of a San Francisco fisherman, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Phillip Larson, 76, is due back Friday in San Mateo County Superior Court on allegations stemming from the death of 30-year-old Minh Truong, who died after becoming trapped under an overturned fishing boat, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Larson was at the helm of the 41-foot Next Chapter when it rammed and flipped the 20-foot boat carrying Truong and his father on Aug. 3, 2011, during a fishing trip off Sierra Point, Wagstaffe said.
Larson reportedly told investigators he felt a thump as he cruised along at 11 knots, or about 12½ mph, and saw debris when he looked back. He next spotted the victim's father, Kiet Truong, then 50, screaming and clinging to the hull of the overturned fishing boat. Wagstaffe said Larson was charged because he wasn't paying close enough attention to other boaters.
Larson faces one count each of manslaughter with a boat and recklessly operating a boat, Wagstaffe said. A message left for Larson's attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Lawsuits filed in San Mateo County Superior Court against Larson describe the crash in which Kiet Truong witnessed his son's drowning. The Next Chapter was headed south past Sierra Point when it plowed into the Truongs, who were anchored to the west of
A suit lodged by Mary Ghai, mother of Minh Truong's two young children, references a previous lawsuit in which Larson was accused of being under the influence of alcohol during a June 2005 boat crash. In that case he allegedly crashed a boat called About Time into Hunters Point Pier, injuring at least one person, says the suit. Wagstaffe said Larson was not under the influence during the crash involving the Truongs.
Larson is out of custody on his own recognizance.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.