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Man Accused of Drunken Boating after Indian Rocks Beach Boat Crash

Kirk Johnson | Pinellas Sheriff | Arrests

Two people were injured in the crash, Pinellas deputies say.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – A man from Washington state was arrested after a boat crash in Indian Rocks Beach that injured two people, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Kirk Johnson, 62, of Maple Valley, WA, was charged with one count of Boating Under the Influence. He was not injured in the crash.

Gaylord Stanton, 68, a passenger in the Yamaha jet boat that Johnson was driving, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for non-life-threatening injuries. A 16-year-old passenger on the other boat was taken to All Children’s Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The other occupants of both boats declined medical care at the scene.

The crash happened about 5:10 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 24) in the Intracoastal Waterway just east of 373 12th Ave. on Indian Rocks Beach.

Deputies said Johnson was operating a 23-foot Yamaha jet boat traveling south in the Intracoastal Waterway with five passengers on board. A 21-foot Grady White boat with two passengers on board was traveling north approaching the same area.

Both vessels were approaching each other when the driver of the Grady White saw the Yamaha weaving back and forth. The Yamaha then took a course directly towards the Grady White, which tried to steer out of the path of the oncoming vessel but was unable to avoid the collision. The Yamaha struck the rear of the Grady White, ripping off the outboard motor and exposing the transom.

Witnesses told deputies the crash sent the Yamaha airborne and all six occupants were thrown from the boat and into the water.

Deputies said the unmanned Yamaha was still powered as it circled the area uncontrollably before traveling east and crashing into a nearby dock and an unoccupied 24-foot Pathfinder boat.

Deputies said Good Samaritans were helping pull the boaters from the water when marine unit deputies arrived to help with the water rescue.

During the course of the investigation, marine unit deputies said they noted Johnson showed signs of impairment. Johnson agreed to perform field sobriety tests, but performed poorly on them.

Deputies said Johnson submitted to a breath sample which indicated he had a BAC of 0.149/0.145.

Deputies say the Grady White vessel sank because of the extensive damage. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the hazard and efforts to remove the vessel will continue in the coming days.

Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Boating Under the Influence | Arrests | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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