Lawyer: Too early to pin tanker accident on pilot

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 9:02 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The lawyer for the pilot of an empty oil tanker that clipped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge says any speculation about "pilot error" being the cause is "highly premature."

Rex Clack said in a prepared statement Wednesday that investigators are still gathering facts about the Monday morning accident and have not speculated on a cause.

Clack says there are "many potential causes" to investigate beyond whether his client, Guy Kleess, was at fault. He says those possible causes include mechanical failure, weather conditions, and actions by other crew members of the 752-foot ship.

Clack also characterized three previous accidents Kleess was involved in as "minor incidents" and said his client has a "good record" as a San Francisco bar pilot.

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