Children Sue for Mom’s Parasailing Death

      BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CN) – A mother plummeted to her death parasailing over South Padre Island when she slipped out of the harness, her grieving children claim in court.
     Dawn Marie Strickland died at 47 on the evening of Aug. 8, her two adult children claim in Cameron County Court. They sued Sonny’s Beach Service six days after their mother fell to her death.
     Strickland slipped from her harness just minutes into the ride after complaining to her boyfriend, who was riding beside her, that she was struggling to hold on. A preliminary autopsy found that she died of “blunt force trauma while drowning,” according to The San Antonio Express-News.
     A boater recovered her body and tried but failed to revive her, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard took her to a Brownsville hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
     Her children seek preservation and inspection of evidence, and punitive damages for negligence, failure to train and her pain and suffering. They blame their mother’s death on an equipment malfunction.
     Sonny’s Beach Service declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday. It advertises on its website that it has been providing “the Island’s most exciting and safest beach activities since 1986” with “careful attention to details, like quality equipment and safety, and have the most experienced boat captains.”
     A parasailing ride cost $75 and takes riders 500 feet into the air, according to the company website.
     The National Transportation Safety Board reported in 2014 that eight people had died in U.S. parasailing accidents since 2009. Between 3 million and 5 million people parasail each year, the NTSB said.
     The Stricklands are represented by Peter Zavaletta with the Law Offices of Thomas J. Henry, in Corpus Christi.

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