March 31, 2003
Naranja man charged with reckless driving, drugs
Marathon – A Naranja man was arrested
after a deputy, driving his personal vehicle, spotted him driving recklessly
and called Sheriff’s Office dispatch to report it.
Deputy John Whortenbury was traveling northbound on Big
Pine Key just before 7 a.m. when he saw an older model Hyundai weaving and
driving recklessly in traffic. He called it in to Sheriff’s Office
dispatchers so deputies to the north could intercept the driver. Deputy
Whortenbury then attempted to keep the Hyundai in sight. The driver, later
identified as Ray Tatum, Jr., continued driving dangerously northbound,
crossing the Seven Mile Bridge, where another Deputy Joel Slough spotted
him, measuring his speed at 86 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone.
Deputy Whortenbury caught up to the Hyundai on the
bridge and saw the driver open the car’s door and toss something out. The
deputy was able to stop and pick the item up because there were no cars
behind him on the bridge. The item turned out to be a plastic bag with
Deputy Joe Cortner finally got Tatum to stop his car at
the 48 mile marker in Marathon. Tatum had almost $2,000.00 in cash which was
seized for possible forfeiture. He was arrested and charged with reckless
driving and possession of cocaine and he was booked into the Monroe County
Small plane crashes after landing gear collapsed
Key West – A small plane skidded off the
runway at the Key West International Airport Monday morning after it’s
landing gear collapsed.
The plane was landing at the airport at 11:20 a.m. when
the landing gear reportedly collapsed, sending it about 100 feet off the
runway on the south side. The pilot, Simon T (Note: yes, that’s his real
name) from Naples, Florida was not injured. The plane is registered to
Sabe Aviation in Naples.
The incident did not significantly impact airport
operations. At no time was the runway closed, and no flights were delayed.
The plane was removed by Arnold’s Towing at just after 1 p.m.
March 24, 2003
Marathon man charged with business burglary
Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested
Sunday night, charged with breaking in to a local convenience store to steal
Budweiser beer and Marlboro cigarettes.
Deputy Greg Korzan initially responded to an alarm call
at the Dion’s Quik Mart in Marathon at 10:45 p.m. Sunday.. When he arrived,
he found no signs of a break in at the business. About 30 minutes later, a
manager from the store also responded after being told of the alarm. When he
arrived, he discovered someone had broken in through the back door and had
taken beer and cigarettes, along with dollar bills from a donation container
on the counter.
A surveillance camera caught the burglar on tape. After
viewing the tape, the manager was able to identify the suspect as a man who
she caught stealing cigars from the store. She told the deputy the man,
later identified as 50 year old Alfredo Rojas, lives under the Boot Key
The deputies found Rojas under the bridge. He was
wearing the same clothing as the suspect caught on the video tape.
Cigarettes matching those stolen were found as well, and two cases of
Budweiser beer were found hidden behind a restaurant next to Dion’s.
Rojas was arrested and charged with burglary, theft and
criminal mischief. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Grassy Key teen charged with machete threats
Grassy Key – A Grassy Key teenager was
arrested Saturday morning after he went on a rampage with a machete,
breaking windows and threatening deputies.
After a 45 minute standoff with deputies, 19 year old
Leslie Stockwell was finally subdued with pepper spray and taken into
custody, charged with three counts of threatening deputies with the machete.
When Stockwell’s father called the Sheriff’s Office at
5:45 a.m. Saturday, he said his son had suddenly “flipped out”. He said he’d
begun breaking things in the house. He said his son was armed with a machete
and had been attacking mailboxes with it, and was now hitting his van with
When Deputies Greg Korzan and Joel Slough arrived at 213
Parish Drive, they found Stockwell in front of the house. They ordered him
to drop the machete and he refused. He began waving it around above his
head, then began walking toward the deputies swinging the weapon.
At gunpoint, the deputies continued ordering him to drop
the weapon, but he refused. Sgt. Jake Brady arrived on the scene as backup
and Stockwell swung the knife at the Sgt., who had to retreat behind his
patrol car to avoid being cut.
Stockwell ran into a wooded area, with deputies
following on foot and in patrol cars to keep him in sight. Finally, in the
vicinity of Peachtree Avenue and Morton Streets, Deputy Korzan and Sgt.
Brady boxed Stockwell in between their two patrol cars and managed to spray
him with pepper spray. At that point he dropped the machete, but he ran into
bushes alongside the road. He was captured a short distance off the roadway
and was taken into custody. He was treated at Fishermen’s Hospital for
wounds he inflicted upon him self during the incident. No one else was
March 20, 2003
Key Largo Armed Robbery
Key Largo - Four armed robbers burst into
a Key Largo restaurant last night, tied up the owner and employees and
escaped after rifling the cash register and taking cash and personal
belongings from the employees.
Sheriff’s Deputies responded shortly before 11 p.m. to
the Makoto Japanese Restaurant on U.S. Highway One, Key Largo. The
restaurant owner, Tony Khamla Liam, told deputies that around ten p.m. the
suspects entered an unlocked back door to the restaurant. Liam said the
suspects, armed with handguns, rounded up the employees, tied them up with
black tie wraps and locked them with him in a bathroom. The armed suspects
took money from the register, forced one employee to open a safe and took
cash, personal belongings and credit cards from the owner and five
employees. The robbers also ripped phones from the walls, closed window
blinds and turned off outside lights at the restaurant.
After the robbers left, the owner was able to get out of
the bathroom and go outside the restaurant where he flagged down a man on a
bicycle. The passerby went to his nearby home and called police. The
restaurant owner and employees were not hurt in the robbery, but the
suspects did threaten to shoot them.
The suspects are described as follows:
Suspect one: White male, black hair, possibly
Vietnamese, five feet five, 25-30 years old, spoke with Vietnamese accent,
wearing plaid shirt with beige or yellow khaki shorts, armed with a silver
gun. Suspect was in good shape, possibly a body builder and was wearing a
Suspect Two: White male, black hair, wearing tee
shirt, jeans, 25-30 years old, five foot three inches tall, medium build,
wearing a bandana, armed with black pistol.
Suspect Three: White male, wearing white or tan
sneakers with a curved red stripe on the side of the shoe.
Suspect Four: Victims could not provide a
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating. Anyone with
information should call Sgt. Corey Bryan at 853-3211. Crime Stoppers will
pay up to a one thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest
in this case. Callers may remain anonymous. The Crime Stoppers’ hotline is
March 19, 2003
Murder-Suicide in Key Largo
Key Largo – A man and woman are dead as a
result of a murder-suicide which took place in Key Largo today.
Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call from a neighbor
who lives on Orange Drive in Key Largo. She said a young boy was at her
door, saying his father was hurting his mother. The boy, who is 9 years old,
said his two siblings were still in the house with their parents.
Shortly after that, the other two children, a girl aged
13 and a boy aged 6, called dispatchers to say they were downstairs in the
house and that their parents were fighting in a bedroom upstairs.
The children reported hearing their father, Carl
Ambrosino, and their mother, Ann Cuty, arguing in a bedroom upstairs. They
said they heard their mother scream and broke into the room, finding their
mother on the floor, bloodied, with their father on top of her. Initial
reports indicate the children saw their father holding a knife. They said it
looked like he was trying to kill their mother. That is when they fled to
When deputies arrived, they made sure all three children
were safe, then entered the house. They found both Ambrosino and Cuty dead.
Both bodies showed evidence of knife wounds. Autopsies will be done to
determine the exact cause of their deaths. Detectives say the two had been
involved in an ongoing dispute with Ambrosino accusing Cuty of infidelity.
The State Department of Children and Family Services is
attempting to place the three children with family members.
Homestead man jumps from Long Key Bridge; is rescued off shore
Long Key – A Homestead man who jumped off
the Long Key Bridge in an attempt to recover a boat that was floating by was
rescued by officers from the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Deputies responded to the Long Key Bridge at 10 a.m. to
take a missing person’s report. Three friends were on the bridge, two of
them fishing and the other riding his bike. The two who were fishing said
they found the third friend’s clothing folded on the bridge, but that he was
gone. They speculated that he might have jumped off the bridge for some
reason. They weren’t sure when he disappeared.
The Sheriff’s Office, the Coast Guard and the Fish and
Wildlife Commission were notified and began searching the water’s in the
area. 20 year old Brett Kelley was spotted by a Fish and Wildlife aircraft
approximately two miles off the gulf side of the bridge just after noon. A
Fish and Wildlife vessel responded and pulled him out of the water.
Kelley, who is from Homestead, said he was riding his
bike at about 7 a.m. on the bridge when he saw a small boat float by under
the bridge. He said he decided to jump from the bridge and try to recover
He jumped, and managed to get into the boat. As he was
attempting to paddle it to shore, the boat began to take on water. He said
it had sunk below the surface when he spotted what he thought was a sandbar
he could swim to, so he left the boat. What he thought was a sandbar turned
out not to be, and he became caught in the water’s current and began to be
swept away. He could not estimate how long he swam after leaving the boat.
He was exhausted from his ordeal, and was checked out by a rescue unit, but
refused any further medical treatment.
Miami Beach woman’s identity released
Key Largo – Detectives have released the
identity of a Miami Beach woman, found washed up on shore at a Key largo
campground Monday night.
Josephine Reyes was reportedly visiting the Keys with
her boyfriend, 33 year old William Moore, at the time of her death. The two
were staying at Captain Jax campground. According to Moore, they argued
while at a party at the campground. That is the last time he saw her. Her
body was found two hours later washed up on shore at the campground by two
people walking in the area.
Detective Charlene Sprinkle-Huff was assigned to
investigate the case. An autopsy was performed to determine the cause of her
death. Contact the medical examiner’s office for those details.
March 18, 2003
Miami Beach woman dead in Key Largo
Key Largo – A Miami Beach woman visiting
the Keys with her boyfriend is dead. She was found in the water near the Key
Largo campground where they’ve been staying.
The woman, whose name is being withheld until her family
can be notified, was staying at Captain Jax campground at the 103 mile
marker. Her boyfriend says they were at an outside party with a bunch of
other people Monday when they got into an argument around 8 p.m. He said she
walked away from him and he didn’t see her again. Shortly after that, the
weather turned bad and it began to rain. Everyone at the party dispersed,
returning to their tents and campers. He said she did not return to their
After the rain stopped, a couple was walking along the
water and found her body, washed up on the beach. The Sheriff’s Office was
notified and deputies responded.
As deputies and detectives were conducting their
investigation at the scene, the boyfriend walked up and asked if anyone had
seen his girlfriend. He was shown a Polaroid photo of the victim, who he
positively identified as the woman he was looking for.
According to Detective Charlene Sprinkle-Huff, there
were no obvious signs of foul play. An autopsy will be performed to
determine the cause of the woman’s death.
California student charged with burglarizing Islamorada business
Islamorada – A California student was
arrested Monday, charged with breaking in to the Theater of the Sea and
stealing a large number of items including jewelry.
20 year old Christopher Reynolds allegedly broke in to
the business Sunday night. According to deputies, it appears Reynolds used a
rock to break a glass doors and gain entry. He then smashed seven glass
display cases with a fire extinguisher, stealing jewelry, and other items
from inside. While in the building, detectives say it appears he cut
himself. He left bloody fingerprints and footprints, along with a shirt with
blood on it.
A security guard working at the nearby Pelican Cove
Resort told Detectives Dillon Corr and David Carey he saw a guest on the
property who appeared to be intoxicated and was bleeding. He was able to
give detectives the guest’s room number. Employees at the resort said the
parents of the person staying in the room were up in the middle of the night
looking for him. They reportedly said he’d been missing for some time and
they couldn’t find him.
When the detectives knocked on the door of the room,
Reynolds answered. He said he’d been in his room all night. The detectives
looked in the door and saw a small ring on the floor. The ring was later
identified as having been stolen during the break in at Theater of the Sea.
Detectives obtained permission to search Reynolds room.
Inside, they found some of the stolen property. Reynolds had several cuts as
well, including a deep one on the bottom of his foot.
Reynolds was arrested and charged with burglary and
grand theft. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Damage
to Theater of the Sea is estimated to be in excess of $6,000.00 and almost
$2,000.00 worth of property was stolen during the break in.
March 17th, 2003
Key Largo man charged with stabbing his mother’s boyfriend
Key Largo – A 25 year old Key Largo man
has been charged with stabbing his mother’s boyfriend Sunday night.
Deputies arrived at the scene to find the victim, 42
year old Billy Costner bleeding from two puncture wounds to the chest and
stomach. He said he and Steven Bennett, his girlfriend’s son, got into an
argument just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday out in front of their house at 132
Second Court in Key Largo. He said Bennett stabbed him twice with a knife.
Bennett was not on the scene, and Costner said he wasn’t sure of his
location, but gave deputies permission to search the house they all live in
together on Second Court.
Costner was transported to Mariner’s hospital, then
airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for treatment.
Deputies entered the house to search for Bennett. No one
was inside, but they found a knife in the kitchen which may have been the
one used to stab Costner. As deputies were continuing their investigation
outside the house, Bennett returned to the scene. He was placed under
arrest, charged with aggravated battery. According to deputy’s reports,
Bennett made several admissions during the course of his arrest indicating
he was the one who stabbed Costner.
Bennett’s mother was also at the scene. She tried
several times to enter her house after being warned by deputies that it was
an active crime scene and she was not allowed access. She was finally
arrested and charged with resisting arrest without violence.
Both Bennetts were booked into the Monroe County
March 14, 2003
Marathon man charged with shotgun threats
Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested in
the early morning hours after a standoff with police. The standoff began
after an incident in Boot Key Harbor that detectives are describing as “road
rage on the water”.
The United States Coast Guard called the Sheriff’s
Office to assist them with the situation, which began at 8 p.m. Four people
from out of town who were having dinner on board a boat in the Harbor called
to report being threatened by a man with a shotgun.
Deputies were transported out to the victim’s boat to
take a report. The victims said they were on sitting on the boat, anchored,
when another boat passed close by. They reportedly yelled at the man
operating the boat, telling him he was passing too closely. The man, later
identified as 63 year old Jeffrey Laning of Marathon, turned his boat
around, yelled, “I’ll show you close”, allegedly produced a shotgun, pointed
it at them, and yelled, “I’ll kill you.” The victims dove for cover, after
which Laning grabbed his gaff and began trying to grab their anchor line
with it, telling them he was going to tow them out to sea.
One of the victims grabbed a spotlight and began shining
it in Laning’s eyes. Laning swung the gaff at him several times before
returning to his attempts at gaffing the anchor line. Laning eventually gave
up trying to grab the anchor line and left the area. That’s when the victims
called for help.
The victims were able to obtain the registration from
Laning’s boat, and deputies obtained Laning’s home address by running a
check on the registration. Deputies went to his house on 29th
Street in Marathon and found the vessel tied up in back. It fit the
description provided by the victims.
While deputies were at the house, Laning walked outside
his door briefly. They ordered him to stay where he was and show them his
hands, but Laning quickly reentered the house, turned out all the lights and
refused to answer when deputies tried to make contact.
Deputies were stationed around the perimeter of his
house, and negotiators were called to the scene to attempt to talk with
Laning. The Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics team was called out as
well, due to the possibility that Laning was armed and dangerous. Laning
eventually agreed to surrender and he was taken into custody without further
incident. He was charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a
deadly weapon and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
March 11, 2003
Sugarloaf School student charged with marijuana sales
Sugarloaf Key – A 14 year old Sugarloaf
Middle School student has been arrested for selling marijuana to students at
Kelli-Ann Ross of Big Pine Key has been charged with
sale of marijuana, a second degree felony. She is accused of selling small
amounts of the drug to seven school students on school grounds.
School authorities learned of the illegal activity on
March 6th. They called Ross in to the Assistant Principal Jim
Hall’s office and confronted her. She admitted to selling marijuana, turning
a small amount over to Hall, and handing over $55.00 in cash – proceeds of
her drug sales.
Ross cooperated with the drug investigation, giving Hall
the names of those students she sold the marijuana to. The seven students
she named were then confronted as well. All of them admitted to purchasing
the marijuana from Ross. Two of the students in question were members of the
Sheriff’s Office Cadet/Explorer program. They have been dismissed from the
Ross was arrested and charged with sale of marijuana.
All seven students who purchased marijuana were issued Juvenile Citations
which will require them to go to drug education classes, participate in
community service and attend counseling.
Bomb threat written on bathroom wall at Coral Shores High School
Plantation Key – Sheriff’s detectives are
investigating a threatening message found on a bathroom wall at Coral Shores
The message, which threatened to blow up the school on
March 13th, was written on the wall of the boy’s bathroom near
the gymnasium. Detectives are not releasing the exact contents of the
message, citing ongoing investigations.
Detectives say they suspect the message was written in
an effort to have the school closed Thursday, making it a four day weekend.
Friday there is no school because it is a professional day for teachers.
School authorities have decided that school will proceed
normally on Thursday. Any absence from school will NOT be an excused
absence. There will be extra patrols that day, however, to make sure
students attending school are safe.
Investigations into who wrote the threatening message
Tampa man dies while snorkeling
Key Largo – A 21 year old Tampa man died
while snorkeling at Molasses Reef Monday afternoon.
Mackinsey Edmonson was on board a vessel rented by him
and his three friends. They were in the vicinity of Molasses Reef when the
incident occurred. Two of his friends were scuba diving and Edmonson was
snorkeling on the surface with another friend when he began to have trouble.
His friend tried to help him back to the boat but he pulled away from her.
A nearby dive boat stopped to help. They managed to get
him on board that boat and began doing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
A Fish and Wildlife boat responded and picked up Mackinsey, along with the
people who were performing CPR. They transported Mackinsey to shore where
they were met by rescue units. Mackinsey was taken to the hospital where he
was pronounced dead.
March 10, 2003
Miami man charged with impersonating police officer
Islamorada – A Miami man on board a vessel
stopped by the Sheriff’s Islamorada patrol boat Sunday afternoon was
arrested after he falsely claimed to be a police officer.
37 year old Rodolfo Fernandez, of Miami, was on board a
boat stopped in the vicinity of Whale Harbor by the Sheriff’s office Sunday
at 1:20 p.m. As Deputy Nelson Sanchez tried to do a routine safety check of
the vessel, Fernandez continually interrupted him, interfering with his
ability to do his job. Deputy Sanchez warned Fernandez to be quiet and allow
him to perform the safety check. That is when Fernandez identified himself
as an officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department. When Deputy Sanchez
asked to see his police ID, Fernandez said he didn’t have it with him. When
the deputy asked which police station he worked out of, Fernandez finally
admitted he wasn’t a police officer at all. He said he works for the
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer department.
Sanchez placed Fernandez under arrest for impersonating
a police officer. A search turned up a small amount of cocaine, so he was
further charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was booked
into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Notes/Weekend traffic wrap up:
Monroe County - The Florida Highway Patrol
is currently investigating the following accidents. The Monroe County
Sheriff’s Office assisted at the accident scenes. The information listed
below is based on initial dispatch information, is preliminary in nature and
may not be completely accurate. It is provided as a courtesy only. Call the
Florida Highway Patrol for details:
One vehicle accident Friday at 6:22 p.m. near the ramp to Boca
Chica Naval Air station, lower Keys. Victim’s car hit a concrete utility
pole. Victim was airlifted via Trauma Star to Miami.
Motorcycle vs. truck accident Saturday at 6 p.m. at the 9 mile
marker of highway U.S. one on Rockland Key. One person (the motorcycle
driver) was transported via rescue to the hospital. It appears from the call
information that one person in the truck fled the scene and was later
Three vehicle accident with injuries at the 82 mile marker in
Islamorada Saturday at 9:52 p.m. Possible head injuries involved. At least
one person transported via rescue to the hospital.
Three vehicle accident on Summerland Key in front of Murray’s
Food Mart Sunday at 2:21 a.m. Trauma Star transported one victim to Miami.
Rescue transported at least two others to the hospital.
Pedestrian vs. vehicle accident at the 103.4 mile marker in
Key Largo Sunday at 7:25 a.m. One person transported by rescue to the
Two vehicle accident with a fuel spill on the Bahia Honda
Bridge Sunday at 1:15 p.m. One person transported via Trauma Star to Miami.
At least two others extricated from one of the vehicles and transported by
rescue to the hospital.
March 6, 2003
Search warrant leads to two arrests for drugs
Marathon – A search warrant served on a
Marathon motel room led to two arrests Wednesday.
Detectives from the Special Investigations Division
obtained the search warrant as part of an ongoing investigation into drug
activity at the Seaward Motel in Marathon. They searched room 101, and a car
belonging to 65 year old Bobby Mason. They found 60 grams of crack cocaine
under the hood of the car. A woman with Mason, 42 year old Debra Miller, had
a small amount of cocaine, marijuana and paraphernalia with her when she was
Both Mason and Miller were arrested. Mason for
trafficking in cocaine and Miller for possession of cocaine, marijuana and
paraphernalia. Detectives seized Mason’s Oldsmobile, and $671.00 in cash.
This was not the first arrest for either one. Miller was
arrested in September of 2002 at the Seaward Motel after deputies responding
to a call spotted drugs in plain view in her motel room. Mason was arrested
two weeks ago after Special Investigations detectives served another search
warrant on the same room, Room 101, and found him to be in possession of
cocaine. Both Mason and Miller were out on bond on those cases, reportedly
awaiting trial. They’ve now been booked into jail on the new charges.
March 3, 2003
Man beaten, robbed on Stock Island
Stock Island – A Stock Island man is in
jail charged with beating another man over the head and stealing his money
Sunday in the early morning hours.
The victim says he was sleeping in his tent near the Dog
Track on Stock Island at 2:45 a.m. when the attack occurred. He said he was
awakened by a man calling him from outside the tent. The man identified
himself as Joe and said he had to talk to him.
The victim said he’d had an earlier conversation with a
man he knew only as “Joe” about buying some tools from him. He said he
exited his tent, and was immediately attacked and hit on the head several
times. His attacker, the man he knew as “Joe”, demanded money and said he
would kill him if he didn’t hand it over. After being hit three times in the
head with an unknown weapon, he handed over the cash and Joe left the area.
When deputies arrived, the victim described his
attacker, and said all he knows is that Joe lives with a woman named Sandra
on Robyn Lane, Stock Island. Deputy David Lariz, Jr. recognized the
description as being a 47 year old man named Joseph Chakos. Detective Lionel
Vargas was called to the scene to assist in the investigation. A photo line
up was done and the victim identified his attacker as Chakos.
Chakos was found a few hours later and was arrested. He
was charged with robbery and aggravated battery and he was booked into the
Monroe County Detention Center.
The victim was transported to the hospital where he
received 8 staples in his head and was released.
Road rage leads to threat with handgun
Key Largo – A Coral Springs man was booked
into jail after he threatened another man with a handgun in what appears to
be a road rage related incident.
33 year old Daren Clark was charged with aggravated
assault for pointing a silver colored handgun at a vacationer and his family
from Flint, Michigan. According to reports by Deputy Jason Madnick, the
altercation began at 5:20 p.m. Friday as the two men were driving on the 18
mile stretch. The victim said he was southbound in his vehicle with Clark
following closely behind. He said Clark began gesturing at him, then pulled
in front of him and “cut him off”. The victim then followed Clark’s vehicle
into a parking lot in Key Largo, reportedly to get his tag number.
In the parking lot, the victim was reportedly attempting
to write down Clark’s tag number. Clark had gone into a store in the plaza,
but when he saw the victim in the parking lot, he walked out and pulled a
gun out of his pant’s pocket, pointing it at the victim. A witness saw the
incident and stepped between the two men. Clark then got into his car and
left the parking lot.
Clark was stopped a short distance away. The gun was
found in the console of his vehicle. It was loaded and had one bullet in the
chamber, ready to fire. Clark admitted to pointing the gun at the victim. He
said he did it because he was “in fear for his life.”
At the time of the confrontation, both men had small
children in the car with them. The victim’s wife was also in the car with
him. Clark’s wife was following him in a separate vehicle.
Woman airlifted after golf cart accident
Key Largo – A Key Largo woman was
airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami after she was injured in a
golf cart accident at 2 a.m. Saturday at the Ocean Reef Club.
According to reports by Deputy Keith Nyman, 23 year old
Suzannah O’Conner was driving the cart, traveling northeast on Marina Drive
when she reportedly swerved into the oncoming traffic lane. She then swerved
back into her lane, rolling the cart over. She and her passenger, Michael
Kavanagh of Key Largo, were pinned under the cart. A passerby pulled them
out from underneath the cart and called for assistance.
O’Conner was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in
Miami. Kavanagh was transported via ambulance to Mariner’s Hospital.
Illinois man dies while on dive trip
Key Largo – An Illinois man died while on
a dive trip off of Key Largo Saturday morning.
57 year old Ronald Alan Curtis of Rockford Illinois was
reportedly on a dive trip with the dive boat “Aquanuts” diving in
approximately 27 feet of water off Elbow Reef when he surfaced and called
for help. Another dive boat in his vicinity responded to his cries for help
and the captain of that vessel attempted to pull Curtis on board, but
couldn’t do it on his own. Others in the area also responded and assisted in
getting Curtis on board.
He was not breathing, so CPR was begun, and the boat
began traveling toward shore. They called the Coast Guard for assistance,
and the Coast Guard met the vessel and began assisting with CPR.
When the boat arrived at shore, they were met by an
ambulance and Curtis was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be done to
determine the cause of his death.