A woman died when the parasail she was riding in with her two sons snapped its tow line in a storm and struck a bridge in the Florida Keys.
Officials say that the accident happened in high winds, which caused the parasail to slam into the Old Seven Mile Bridge, near Marathon, Florida.
The woman, who was vacationing with her family from Schaumburg, Illinois, was killed and one of the boys was injured and airlifted to the hospital. The other boy received only minor injuries.
John Callion cut the line on the parasail and helped free the woman and the two boys from their harnesses and pull them onto his boat. He detailed the accident on Facebook.
“At around 5.30 pm I notice a parasail boat parasailing into a storm,” he wrote.
“It went from flat calm conditions to blowing 30 mph in a matter of seconds. I knew right away the outcome was going to be bad. Sure enough the line connected to the parasail broke.
“As I continued to watch, it was very obvious the parasail boat needed help as they were chasing down the parasail with 3 people connected to it. The parasail was heading for the 7mile bridge at a high rate of speed. They probably traveled a distance between 1-2 miles. At first and from a distance, the bridge seemed to be a saving grace to stop the parasail from traveling any further.
“Unfortunately the victims made contact with the wing wall section of the bridge and it was at a high rate of speed. I was the first boat on the scene. Myself with my two passengers on board, I cut the harnesses to free each victim from the attached chute, which was hung up on the bridge.”
Officials say that there were between 10 and 12 family members on the scene when the woman was pronounced dead and the accident remains under investigation by the FWC and the US Coast Guard.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased during this time,” said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.