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One dead after two personal watercraft collide in Lutz

LUTZ — A man died and a woman was injured after two personal watercrafts collided early Saturday morning on Lake Hobbs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Ryan N. Burke, 30, of Lutz was killed in the accident, which took place about 3 a.m., said George Wells, an FFWCC spokesman. A female victim was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and a third person who was on one of the watercraft was not injured. Their identities were not immediately disclosed, and it wasn't initially clear which watercraft the uninjured person was aboard.

Hillsborough County sheriff's divers recovered Burke. Wells said none of the three people had on a life jacket, which is required by state law while aboard a personal watercraft. Using a personal watercraft 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise is not allowed.

Lake Hobbs is west of U.S. 41 and north of W Lutz Lake Fern Road.

Burke worked at All Season Air Conditioning and Heating Inc., according to a biography on the company's website.

"Ryan has been with us since 2005 and is our employee with multiple hats. He specializes in new installations, runs his own crew and can troubleshoot with the best of them," the website said.

Theresa Barnett, the mother of the injured woman, told Bay News 9 her daughter is "pretty banged up" and was to undergo surgery Saturday.

Another man involved in the accident was able to pull Barnett's daughter to shore after the collision, Barnett said.

The accident is under investigation.

Times news researcher Natalie Watson and staff writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report.

One dead after two personal watercraft collide in Lutz 01/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 10:39pm]
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