Lake Norman Boating Accident Victim Speaks Out
HARRISBURG, N.C. - It was June 25th, 2011, Lake Norman's annual "Lake Bash." 25-year-old Deondra Scott was looking forward to a day of boating. Scott, a lifelong swimmer, was in the water and started swimming back to the boat so she could re-board. She thought the boat's propeller was turned off. It was not. "In order to shield my face and neck, I had to throw out my arm, I had to, I knew I had to," she says. Her right arm was so badly mangled, it had to be amputated.
A civil suit was filed this month by Scott's attorney. It claims that the driver of the boat, Dennis Allen, panicked due to inexperience because it was his first time ever driving a watercraft. The suit claims Allen slammed the throttle into reverse gear, hitting Scott with the propeller. He panicked again and put the boat in forward gear, hitting Scott a second time.
"At the time, my right breast had just been amputated off by the propeller. It was gone. I didn't even know because all I could see was my arm and I couldn't pull it out of the water." Scott, then a nursing student at CPCC, knew she could die. She says, "Deep down in my heart, I knew I'm gonna lose my arm, but it's gonna be OK as long as I don't lose my life."
Now, six months later, Scott's re-learning basic skills. She has to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. She has permanently lost feeling in part of her legs, which suffered about a dozen cuts from the propeller, some, down to the bone.
Scott wants to become a motivational speaker and professional singer. She is determined to not let this trauma leave her bitter and she has this message: "Just stay positive. I believe it's very important, I've always believed in positivity, it can get you real far."
Allen, who also faces several criminal charges, is being sued for negligent and reckless behavior. The owner of the boat is being sued for renting it to Allen knowing he was inexperienced. And the boat manufacturer is also being sued. In the meantime, Scott needs help paying for her medical bills. If you'd like to make a donation, go to www.DeondraScott.com.