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Boating Collision Near Elliott Key Leaves One Dead, Two Injured

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Investigators are working to determine whether alcohol played a role in a deadly boating accident that took place Sunday after one boat crashed into an anchored boat near Elliott Key.

Monday night the boat that allegedly caused the crash was towed to FWC headquarters.  The boat had major damage to the front end.

Felipe Escobar, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was the operator of a 23-foot boat with two other passengers.

Escobar's boat crashed into a 36-foot boat Sunday night around 10:30 p.m.

FWC says the 36-foot boat was anchored and had its lights on, warning other boats it was there.

Officials explained that the occupants of the 36-foot boat were sleeping, when the boat operated by Escobar slammed into it.

The couple in the 36-foot boat called 9-1-1 when they realized the passengers of the boat that hit them were injured. The passengers of the 36-foot boot were not hurt.

45-year-old Escobar was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, said FWC's spokesman, Jorge Pino.

Before going to hospital, FWC investigators drew blood from him to check his blood alcohol level.

"We don't know exactly whether alcohol played a role or not, but we did feel confident enough on scene and had enough probable cause to be able to forcefully draw blood from the operator of the vessel," said Pino.

Giovanna Santos, 37, was a passenger in the boat operated by Escobar. She was taken to Ryder Trauma Center. She died as a result of the collision.

Jason Carvahlo was also a passenger in that boat. He also suffered serious injuries initially, but was listed in fair condition at the hospital with Escobar.

In light of the crash, Pino warned other boat drivers not to do anything in a boat you wouldn't do in a car.

"If you're operating a vessel while intoxicated you will be arrested and you will be treated the same way that you would be if you're operating a car," said Pino.




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