NORTH NAPLES, FL (March 9, 2020) – According to an online news report provided by WinkNews.com, a man from Ohio has been arrested by law enforcement for leaving the scene of a fatal boating accident with a swimmer close to Vanderbilt Beach.
On Thursday, March 5, 2020, the officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrested a 75-year. Old Ohio man for leaving the scene of a fatal boat accident that took the life of a 57-year-old man. The victim was swimming north of Vanderbilt Beach, near Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in North Naples. The new report states that the arrest record alleges the Ohio man and his brother were aware that their boat struck someone or something and continued to drive the boat without stopping.
According to the online news report from WinkNews.com, the victim was swimming near the swimmer's area that is roped off with buoys at the time of the boat-swimmer accident. Accident witnesses stated to police that the Ohio man maneuvered the boat toward the injured swimmer and then threw the victim a floatation device, and then the Ohio man drove the boat away from the accident.
It is also being reported that witnesses of the accident gave Collier County deputies a photo of the boat with the Ohio man and his brother inside the boat as they left the scene of the accident.
The Collier County Sherriff's Officer issues a "Be on the Lookout" bulletin and later discovered the boat at the Cocohatchee River Park Marina boat ramp. The officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began the investigation, and the officers interviewed the Ohio man. The news report states that the Ohio man admitted driving the boat at the time of the accident. Crime scene technicians took samples off of the lower end of one of the boat motors, which were later identified as human remains. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took possession and seize the Ohio man's boat and processed the boat into evidence for a potential criminal case.
The news report also alleges that the Ohio man was asked if he placed a call to 911 to report the accident. The man's answer was removed in the police report. The defendant was arrested and booked into the Collier County jail and later posted bond. He is facing a charge of leaving the scene of a boat accident or injury without giving aid.
Florida Leaving the Scene of a Boat Accident or Injury Without Giving Aid
According to Florida Statute 327.30, it is a crime for a boat operator who is involved in an accident, to leave the scene of a boating accident without providing aid to the injured party and not reporting the accident to law enforcement. In the State of Florida, this charge is a third-degree felony.