The family of a father and daughter killed last August in a personal watercraft crash at Dry Creek Cove on Pickwick Lake has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking over $10 million in damages.

Six-year-old Olivia Carter and her father, David Carter, died after the watercraft they were on was struck on August 15, 2020 by another watercraft driven by Matthew Swearengen of Shelby County, Tenn. and owned by Robert Dodson of Munford, Tenn.

The lawsuit, filed by David Carter’s widow and Olivia Carter’s mother, Nicole Carter, claims Swearengen was driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed in an area crowded with boats, jet skis and swimmers when the crash happened.

“Defendant Matthew Searengen negligently drove his jet ski at a rate of speed too fast for the heavily populated area of Dry Creek Cove and crashed directly into the jet ski driven by David Grayson Carter. Further, Defendant Robert Dodson negligently entrusted the jet ski to a person he knew or should have known would negligently cause injury to himself or others,” states the suit.

The suit also claims Swearengen was operating the watercraft under the influence of alcohol and no-prescription illegal drugs.

The lawsuit seeks a total of $10 million in damages.

The crash was investigated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and has been turned over to the district attorney. No charges have yet been filed.

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