Parents of girl killed by watercraft sue pair who organized boating trip

September 15, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

The parents of a 13-year-old girl killed last year when she was hit by a personal watercraft filed a $2.5 million lawsuit Friday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court against the couple who organized the boating trip.

Raymond and Mary Bedell of Severna Park allege that James and Nora DiMaggio never should have allowed their daughter and five other children under age 14 to race personal watercraft on Jackson Creek near Grasonville on Aug. 2, 1995.

Roxanne Bedell was killed about 3 p.m. when she was thrown off one watercraft and hit by another being operated by 11-year-old Molly Legg, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that Nora DiMaggio told the Bedells that she would accompany the children that day and did not, which left one adult to supervise the six children.

"Had the Bedells known that Nora DiMaggio was not there to operate one of the PWS [personal watercraft], they would not have permitted Roxanne Bedell to accompany the group," the suit says.

The suit names as defendants both the DiMaggios and Molly Legg's mother, Pauline B. Legg.

The DiMaggios were unavailable yesterday.

But Pauline Legg said that she still grieves for the Bedells and that her daughter has been seeing a therapist since the accident.

"It's been a nightmare that you never wake up from," Legg said. "My heart just aches continually for the Bedells."

James DiMaggio, 28, of Severna Park was convicted of four counts of reckless endangerment in Queen Anne's County District Court and sentenced last month to 1,000 hours of community service.

Pub Date: 9/15/96

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