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Legal closure in fatal collision

Published on August 13th, 2020

When the 2020 New England 100 Regatta is held August 15 and 16, over two dozen teams will race their beach catamarans in one distance race per day with a goal of completing 100 miles for the weekend. With over thirty years of history, the event continues as an exciting test of sailing, skill, endurance, and speed, offering a complete exploration of the Narragansett Bay Area.

This year’s event will be held in memory of Sandra Tartaglino, 60, who a year ago lost her life during the New England 100 Regatta when a 28-foot-cruiser collided with her F18 Nacra MKII catamaran near the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

After an investigation, Frank Teixeira, the operator of the vessel involved in the fatal collision had no criminal charges levied against him, but his lawyer on August 12 entered “guilty” pleas at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal to the four citations his client faced.

Teixeira, 76, of Portsmouth, was cited with four violations of the Coast Guard’s Inland Navigational Rules: risk of collision, action to avoid a collision, responsibilities between vessels, and failure to keep a look-out.

The Department of Environmental Management determined Teixeira was not speeding, nor operating his 28-footer named @Last in reckless disregard for the safety of others during the crash on August 11, 2019.

Each violation that Teixeira faced carried a $100 fine, which he was ordered to pay; he’ll pay court costs on top of that $400 sum, said his attorney Christopher Gontarz.

As for the 31st edition, organizers seek to capture the same fierce competitiveness and athleticism that Sandra exemplified as both a competitor and event chair. “Sandra loved this event,” said Chris Bulger. “The 100 was Sandra’s baby. She wanted to capture this energy around athletic high performance sailing, and we are continuing to do that in her honor.”

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