Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin Commissioner Bujalski injured in boating accident

DUNEDIN — A city commissioner was in serious condition Monday at Mease Dunedin Hospital after what her husband called a "freak" boating accident on Mother's Day.

Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski wanted to spend the day with her husband and son so the family rented a boat Sunday, said Tom Bujalski.

The family was riding down the Intracoastal Waterway on their way to Caladesi Island for lunch around noon Sunday when the boat went over the wake of another boat.

"When she bounced up and came down on the seat, she landed wrong and fractured the L1 vertebra in her back, which is in the lower back, right at the end of the spinal cord," Tom Bujalski said. "She can't move. She is pretty much immobilized."

Bujalski said he drove the boat in to the nearby Dunedin Marina and called paramedics.

"She has feeling in her legs and fingers but can't move because of the cracked vertebra," he said. "It's basically bone on bone and she's on heavy pain meds."

Julie Bujalski, 44, will undergo a kyphoplasty today.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat painful, progressive vertebral compression fractures.

Tom Bujalski said his wife could be out of the hospital as early as Thursday.

"The surgery gives height back and glues the vertebra back together," he said. "With physical therapy, she will be functional and able to walk around."

It's been a tough few months for Commissioner Julie Bujalski. She buried her father April 21 and her mother May 1, her husband said.

Lifelong friend Susan Fallon and her family were on the boat Sunday afternoon with the Bujalskis. She said that up until the accident, "it was a magical day."

Fallon, a Holiday resident, said five minutes before encountering the wake, she and Bujalski looked at each other and said, "This is the best Mother's Day I've ever had."

Reach Demorris A. Lee at or (727) 445-4174.

Dunedin Commissioner Bujalski injured in boating accident 05/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Pete qualifying ends. Seven for mayor. Eight for District 6 on primary ballot


    The smiles of the faces of the workers in the City Clerk’s office said it all. The qualifying period for city elections was almost over.

    City Clerk Chan Srinivasa (2nd left) and Senior Deputy City Clerk  Cathy Davis (1st left) celebrate the end of qualifying period with colleagues on Friday afternoon
  2. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  3. Registered sexual predator charged in assault of woman in Brooksville

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County deputies arrested a registered sexual predator Thursday after they say he attempted to assault a woman and fled into a storm drain.

    Lee Roy Rettley has been charged with attempted homicide, attempted sexual battery and home invasion robbery.
  4. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags


    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]
  5. Former CEO of Winn-Dixie parent joining Hong Kong company


    The former CEO of the Jacksonville-based parent of Winn-Dixie grocery stores, Ian McLeod, has landed a new leadership role in Hong Kong. He is joining the pan-Asian based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. as group chief executive.

    Ian McLeod, who is stepping down as the CEO of the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has been hired by Dairy Farm International Holdings. 
[Photo courtesy of Southeastern Grocers]