Mother hopes tragic story will prevent others from boating while intoxicated

ISLIP, N.Y. (WABC) -- While hundreds will take to their boats, trying to soak up the last of the summer this holiday weekend, one mother can only be reminded of the most tragic day in her life.

"It always goes back to August 17th, no matter what we do we always go back to that day," said Gina Lieneck, boating crash victim's mother.

It was 10 years ago, but Lieneck says it feels like yesterday. A day of fun for her husband and two daughters on their family boat turned into a lifetime of nightmares, when they were hit by another boat near Bay Shore Marina.

"Crushed my daughter and hit my husband, I was standing there and it knocked me out. My other daughter had to help save all of us," Lieneck said.

11-year-old Brianna died and Lieneck's husband still suffers from head and brain injuries he sustained.

Police initially charged the other driver with boating while intoxicated, but charges were dropped after a negative blood test taken hours after the accident.

That hasn't stopped Lieneck from using her experience to partner with the Town of Islip to warn of the dangers of drinking and boating.

"In Suffolk County alone there are 64,000 registered vessels which makes the Great South Bay kind of like the LIE and that in itself is a scary notion," said Angie Carpenter, the Town of Islip Supervisor.

Islip Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety, Anthony D'Amico told Eyewitness News you can expect increased patrols Saturday through Monday.

"Our patrols are out there and they're very active, we do have increased patrols in the marinas and in the docks," D'Amico said.

Lieneck hopes anyone thinking of doing something dangerous on the water this weekend will be reminded of her daughter.

"Think of my little girl that will never get the chance to experience anything in life, her life was cut too short," Lieneck said.

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.