MADERA COUNTY – The man accused of causing the death of a young boy on Bass Lake on June 27, and causing traumatic injuries to a teenage girl in the same jet ski incident, will soon be formally arraigned on charges including misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter.
Phat Chau, 55, is expected to appear in Madera Superior Court at Bass Lake on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 9 a.m.
Criminal charges were filed against Chau, of San Jose, on Tuesday, July 28, in connection with the death of David Flores, 13, of Fresno. The young man died after being run over by a jet ski, reportedly operated by Chau. David’s 16-year-old aunt, Julissa Valenzuela, was badly injured.
Sheriff’s Investigators determined that David, Julissa, and David’s father were riding on an inflatable tube behind their pontoon boat when they were struck by the jet ski. David Flores was killed, while Julissa suffered serious injuries to the head, and was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. The father was not injured.
Misdemeanor charges were also filed against Chau in connection with the injuries to Julissa, for the operating of a vessel in a reckless manner resulting in injury.
Chau has reportedly been very cooperative during the investigation, according to the DA. Linn said that his office has done extensive research, and felt that the incident warranted charges based on the fact that Chau’s act was reckless in nature.
The Chau family was reportedly vacationing at the lake on the day of the incident, and there were two others on the wave runner in addition to Chau when the accident occurred.
The speed of the wave runner at the time of the accident is not known, and there has been no indication that alcohol was involved.