Lawyer in Deep Water for Leaving Scene of Boating Accident

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 02, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Party bus to the hotel not working? No problem, everybody take the lawyer's boat.

Boat crashes and the lawyer leaves injured passengers at the scene? That is a problem.

Was the attorney driving the boat while under the influence? That is the question.

Under Investigation

Douglas McWilliams is under investigation after a boating accident on Lake Travis in Texas. According to reports, a group of lawyers were there for a retreat.

McWilliams, who has a home overlooking the lake, offered to take five partners to their hotel on his boat after a shuttle bus broke down. They crashed, and at least three of them suffered serious injuries.

Rescue helicopters transported two lawyers to the hospital. Meanwhile, police investigated. McWilliams, however, was gone.

He showed up about five hours later, saying he dislocated his shoulder, went to look for help, and passed out. That story didn't float with investigators.

"Not Intoxicated"

A judge issued a felony arrest warrant for McWilliams, but recalled it after lawyers asked for time to resolve the matter. McWilliams, a group leader at Vinson & Elkins, said he didn't flee; he left to get help.

"I was not intoxicated when the wreck occurred, or for that matter, at any time during the night, and it's ridiculous and insulting to me to suggest that I'd run and hide while my colleagues were suffering in an attempt to avoid responsibility for anything," he told the American-Statesman.

He explained that he accidentally entered a cove, then crashed into a shallow area as he tried to turn around. He was thrown from the boat, and told his colleagues he was going for help.

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