Ernesto Antonio Calzado and Natalie Villa de Rey got into a Miami-Dade County, Florida speedboat accident on Sunday that injured nine, news sources report. Information regarding the remaining victims’ identities was not immediately available following the accident. It is unclear whether Calzado and Rey were injured. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the collision and have not said whether charges will be filed. It is unclear whether any of the victims will file a suit.
According to reports, the collision occurred Sunday afternoon in Biscayne Bay near Elliot Key in Miami-Dade County. Reports say Calzado and a female passenger were in a 26-foot Wellcraft boat traveling around 30 mph in the bay. Meanwhile, Rey and 15 others were in a 36-foot Carrera speedboat traveling around 30 mph in the bay.
Sources say that Calzado was heading west when he collided with the side of Rey’s vessel in “a T-bone-type accident.” The force of the collision caused Calzado’s boat to capsize in the bay. “Most of the people on board [Rey’s vessel] ended up in the water,” a Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson said, adding, “It’s a miracle that we didn’t have anybody drown.”
Eight people were taken to the hospital via ambulance, while a ninth was air-rushed to Kendall Regional Medical Center. The person who had to be air-rushed sustained head and leg trauma, reports say. All of the victims have since been released from the hospital. “We’re still in the midst of looking at all of the details, but it doesn’t appear that alcohol played a role,” an FWC spokesperson said regarding the crash. The spokesperson said that reckless driving or “the inability to maintain a proper lookout [may have] played a role.”
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center, there were 1,010 boat collisions in the U.S. in 2012. A study by the center also revealed that a majority of boating accidents occurred during June, July, and August. The majority of seafaring accidents were attributed to three causes: operator inattention (581 accidents), operator inexperience (417 accidents), and improper lookout (391 accidents).
Janette Africano of Hialeah lost her life in a similar boating accident earlier this year when she became trapped between her vessel and a bridge support pillar, reports say. Africano, 35, was pronounced dead at an area hospital following the accident. Police are still investigating to determine the conditions that lead to the accident. So far, there have been no citations.
According to reports, the accident occurred after the Africano and her husband’s vessel came to a stop under the MacArthur Causeway. “We don’t know why the boat stopped underneath the MacArthur Causeway, but we do have some info the female that was on board the vessel was trying to push off from the bridge and at some point she became stuck between the bridge and the vessel,” a FWC spokesperson said.
Rescue respondents performed CPR on Africano with no success, then transported her to the Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she was declared deceased. “I’ve seen many accidents here in my career with the FWC, but this is certainly something unusual,” an FWC spokesperson said.