Suit filed over Englebright deaths
A Penn Valley man has filed a wrongful death suit against the man investigators said was piloting a boat drunk when he plowed into another boat last summer on Englebright Lake in Yuba County.
Paul Peterlin's wife, Cynthia, and 12-year-old daughter, Sophie, were killed Sept. 15 on Englebright when their boat was struck by another motorboat piloted by Jeffrey Joel Sandow, authorities said. Paul Peterlin was also injured.
"This was a horrific crash, a real tragedy," said Philip Aman, a San Diego attorney representing Peterlin.
Sandow, 53, of Auburn, was arrested on suspicion of two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter. He posted a $100,000 bail bond and was later released. Yuba County sheriff's deputies said Sandow was intoxicated.
Sandow was not injured in the crash, investigators said.
The criminal case remains under investigation and charges have not been filed against Sandow, officials said. Sandow did not return phone calls on Wednesday seeking comment.
The civil suit seeks unspecified damages for funeral costs and medical bills, as well as general, punitive and property damages for the infliction of emotional suffering and anguish. Paul Peterlin and his sons Brock, 18, and Alek, 15, are the plaintiffs.
In the suit, Sandow is accused of piloting the boat while intoxicated, demonstrating "a conscious and deliberate disregard for the rights and safety of others."
Aman declined to comment on specific aspects of the case, but did say his office hopes to examine physical evidence, including the two boats involved in the crash.
"They (deputies) are still holding the boats pending their investigation," Aman said.
First appearances in the civil case are scheduled for April 2 in Yuba County Superior Court.
The suit filed Nov. 29 maintained Sandow "had a heavy odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and breath, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech ..."
Authorities have not commented on Sandow's suspected blood-alcohol level.
Aman declined to comment on the nature of Peterlin's injuries, except to call them "severe." Peterlin had "some permanent disability" resulting from the accident, according to the suit.
"He's been released from the hospital, but is still in the process of recovering," Aman said.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.