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Boat captain charged in fatal parasailing accident that killed Elk Grove Village woman in Florida – Chicago Tribune

MARATHON, Fla. — A ship captain has been charged with manslaughter in a Memorial Day parasailing crash in the Florida Keys that killed a 33-year-old Illinois woman and injured her younger son and nephew.

Daniel Gavin Couch, 49, was booked into the Monroe County Jail on Thursday and was being held on a $100,000 bond.

An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered Couch minimize the road holding Supraja Alaparthi and the 2 boys as a result of the parasail was “dragging” in excessive winds from a sudden summer time storm.

They have been nonetheless strapped into the parasail as they have been dragged throughout the waves for practically 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) earlier than slamming into the outdated Seven Mile Bridge, the investigation discovered.

Family members, together with Alaparthi’s 6-year-old daughter, have been on the boat that afternoon. They have been visiting the Keys from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and instructed the captain they may return the subsequent day if the climate was too unhealthy to go up in the parasail. But the captain stated it will be OK, the household’s legal professional Michael Haggard stated when he filed a wrongful demise lawsuit in June.

After the parasail hit the bridge, Alparthi was underwater. Her 10-year-old son was hanging upright, and her 9-year-old nephew was bent backward along with his head below water, the report stated.

“The captain did not maneuver his vessel under the bridge to offer aide even though the family members on the parasail vessel later reported they were begging him to help,” the arrest warrant stated.

The captain of a close-by boat took the victims to shore.

“Weather data, pictures, and videos gathered throughout the investigation show black, ominous looking clouds and areas of high winds in the vicinity of the incident,” the arrest warrant stated.

Investigators additionally discovered Couch’s resolution to chop the tow line was “gross and flagrant” and he ought to have taken into consideration different potential choices to soundly deliver the passengers down.

A lawyer who may converse on Couch’s behalf was not listed in jail information.

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