Family of girl killed in Lake George crash sues Alex West, his family

'Catastrophic personal' injury among claims
Alex West is escorted from Warren County Court by officers back to jail after his sentencing
Alex West is escorted from Warren County Court by officers back to jail after his sentencing

The parents of the 8-year-old California girl killed in a motorboat crash on Lake George last summer are suing the man convicted of recklessly causing her death, his parents and three passengers in his boat for $3 million. 

Alexander West, 25, of Lake George, was sentenced Monday to spend five to 15 years in prison in the death of Charlotte McCue, who was vacationing on Lake George with her family on July 25, the night of the crash. West spent the day partying at Log Bay Day before heading south on the lake in his powerboat and crashing it into the antique Gar Wood that was carrying Charlotte. A jury found that West was intoxicated at the time and convicted him of second-degree manslaughter and several lesser charges last month. 

In a notice of summons filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Warren County, Courtney and Eric McCue claim the defendants caused “catastrophic and permanent personal, psychological, emotional” injuries as a result of the crash, which also left Courtney McCue, Charlotte’s mother, seriously injured. Charlotte was sleeping with her head on her mother’s lap at the time of impact. 

The lawsuit alleges “reckless, grossly negligent” behavior on the part of the defendants that night — during the crash and in the hours after, when West fled the scene and did not report the crash to authorities until nearly 12 hours later. 

The summons lists Alexander West and his parents, Martin and Cassandra West, as well as boat passengers Matthew Marry, Kristine Tiger and Morland Keyes, as defendants. Not named in the lawsuit is Cara Mia Canale, the fourth and only passenger to testify against West in the trial. 

The four passengers face misdemeanor charges for lying to police and obstructing the investigation, to which they have pleaded not guilty. 

The McCues, who live in Carlsbad, Calif., are being represented by E. Stewart Jones of Troy. Charlotte’s grandparents, Robert  and Christine Knarr of Lake George — whom the McCues were visiting on the night of the crash — are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Robert Knarr was the Gar Wood’s driver.

Courtney McCue said before West was sentenced in Warren County Court that she wanted him to take responsibility for what he did. Eric McCue, in a written statement read by Robert Knarr — Courtney’s grandfather — called West a “coward, who when put to the test will choose himself over his fellow man.”

West, in addressing Judge John Hall that day, said he was “haunted every day … knowing that I was part of something that took away a little girl.”

Cheryl Coleman, the attorney who represented West during the trial, could not be reached Friday for comment.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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