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Lawyer: Too Early To Blame Tanker Accident On Pilot Error

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The Overseas Reymar in San Francisco Bay after brushing up against a Bay Bridge tower bumper. (CBS)

The Overseas Reymar in San Francisco Bay after brushing up against a Bay Bridge tower bumper. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/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 Overseas Reymar.

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.

The 752-foot tanker rammed the bridge tower about 11:20 a.m. Monday, as it headed out to sea.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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