FWC Asks Witnesses To Come Forward In Hit-And-Run Boating Accident
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Fish and Wildlife Investigators have recovered the boat involved in a hit and run on the water which sent two people to the hospital but they’re still seeking help with the investigation.
The 25-foot WhiteWater boat was found at the Dinner Key Marina the evening of Sunday, July 29th. The boat’s owner told investigators the boat was stolen early Sunday morning. Hours earlier, the boat slammed into a tiny 13-foot Boston Whaler and injured two people.
Steven Hudson, 49, suffered serious injuries including bleeding from his nose and head. Passenger Brenda O’Campo, 48, received non-life threatening injuries.
Both were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“It’s inhumane, it’s inhumane to do that and leave people to fend for themselves helpless,” said Hudson’s friend Salvatore Burdi.
Burdi said he saw Hudson in the hospital right before he went into surgery.
“(He’s in) A lot of pain, his eyes were rolling around, he recognizes his mom and father so that’s a good sign and he doesn’t remember anything that happened,” said Burdi.
Miami Fire Rescue said around 11 p.m. they received the call from O’Campo who said she was on a 13-foot Boston Whaler and they had been hit by another boat.
“As they were approaching about two and a half miles out they were struck by another boat. Now this boat came out of nowhere,” said Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll.
O’Campo was cold and in shock as she frantically tried to explain to 911 dispatchers their location on the water.
Woman: “Oh God, I’m shaking, Oh God.”
Dispatcher: “Do you have a GPS?”
Woman: “Yeah, but we got hit so I don’t know where it is.”
She urged the dispatcher to tell crews to hurry because their boat was taking on water. O’Campo said from the crash from the impact knocked her boyfriend unconscious and he was bleeding from the head. Because of the condition of the boat and their injuries, the woman said she wouldn’t be able to send up a flare.
To make matters worse, the boat’s lights were knocked out.
It was a race against time for rescue crews to find the small boat.
“Fire Rescue lined up from the Rickenbacker Causeway all the way to Peacock Park with emergency lights trying to provide some kind of marker or a landmark for her to see and give that information to us,” said Carroll.
It was nearly an hour before authorities located them.
A search helicopter spotted the small sinking craft and boat crew came to the couple’s rescue.
When rescue crews arrived, Hudson was unconscious and O’Campo was in shock.
“She was doing this all by herself so we commend her for her actions,” said Carroll. “If it wasn’t for her keeping it together they probably would have been out there still.”
The FWC asks anyone who witnessed the accident to call the FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).