A Margate, Florida boating accident sent four teens to the hospital on Saturday, news sources report. Information regarding the victims’ identities was not immediately available following the incident. Two of the teens sustained critical injuries and were taken to Broward Health; two others sustained minor injuries and were transported to the Northwest Hospital. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident. No charges or citations have been filed against the driver as of yet.
According to reports, the accident happened around Saturday afternoon at a marina off 101 Rock Island Road in Margate. Based on reports, two teenage girls and two teenage boys took a 14-foot aluminum boat out near the marina; the teens were not wearing safety vests, sources say. The boat may have been traveling at a high rate of speed when it collided with a pillar. It is not clear which of the four teens was driving the boat, or whether she or he was qualified to do so.
“They were bleeding a lot” following the accident, witness Ronne Racinos reportedly told reporters. Two of the boat’s occupants, a teen girl and teen boy, were taken to Broward Health and placed in trauma alert. The other two occupants were taken to the Northwest Hospital with minor injuries. An update on the victims’ conditions was not immediately available at press time. Detectives are investigating the crash and reportedly said speed was likely a factor.
With its close proximity to the ocean, South Florida is a hotspot for boaters, but boating, like driving, does not come without its risks of accidents. Earlier this year, Timothy Doran Jr. of Jupiter allegedly fled the scene of a boat accident that critically injured Kai Woodstock and left four others with less serious injures, sources say. Doran, 23, was later arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of violating inland navigation rules and leaving the scene of a boating accident. He was held without bail bond. It was unclear whether he hired legal representation.
Reports say the incident took place on May 21, 2011 in the Intracoastal Waterway off Jupiter. That evening, several boaters collected Doran at the A1A Bridge off the Loxahatchee River. The boaters went to Tequesta, where they consumed drinks at the Tiki 52 bar, sources say. Doran had several beers before he allegedly took control of the boat and steered it out to the Intracoastal Waterway with the five passengers, including Woodstock, aboard.
Doran set a course for Rum Bar, which is located around PGA Boulevard, reports say. Based on reports, Doran was driving the boat at about 35 to 40 miles per hour just before the crash; passenger Eric Conerly reportedly asked him to slow down. Soon afterwards, Doran crashed into a boat channel marker, sources say.
After the accident, Doran reportedly took off onshore and called a friend for a ride. The other passengers on the boat were taken to the hospital. Woodstock had fractures to his skull and spent a month at St. Mary’s Medical Center recovering. Doran was arrested the following day.