SOUTH PASADENA — Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Marine & Environmental Lands Unit are investigating a boat crash that seriously injured two passengers.
According to a press release, the crash occurred about 6:10 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the seawall, 8041 Sailboat Key Blvd. in South Pasadena.
Deputies say Ryan Craft, 24, of Orlando was operating an 18-foot center console boat, traveling northbound, behind 8041 Sailboat Key Boulevard in South Pasadena. This area is posted as a slow speed/minimum wake zone.
Craft attempted to make a left turn to travel westbound, towards the Intracoastal Waterway. During this turn, the front of the vessel collided with a seawall, ejecting two of the five occupants.
The ejected passengers were Melia Garcia, 23, and Stephanie Ludwig, 29, both of St. Petersburg. Garcia was uninjured; however, Ludwig suffered serious injuries.
Andrew Mentch, 30, of Treasure Island was not ejected, but was seriously injured during the collision. He and Ludwig were transported to Bayfront Health hospital.
Craft and Thaddasone Phepsavath, 25, of Pinellas Park remained on the boat after the collision and were uninjured.
Deputies say speed appears to be a factor in the crash. BUI related charges are pending the results of a blood draw.