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One person dead in boating accident near Anclote River Park

HOLIDAY — A Tarpon Springs man was killed and four others were injured Tuesday after two boats collided in the channel near Anclote River Park and one crashed into dense mangroves.

Michael J. Billiris, 59, was killed when his boat veered into the mangroves, authorities said. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released his identity late Tuesday night.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said two boats collided near the park's main docks around 2:30 p.m. near marker No. 18, as they were entering the channel in a light rain. Billiris' boat was inbound; the other was outbound, authorities said.

Eddie Feidt, a lifeguard who witnessed the collision, told the Times one boat accelerated and cut off the other one.

The driver of the slower boat tried to turn around and struck the marker, he said.

Feidt said he got another boater to take him to the crash site, where he was soon joined by paramedics.

Billiris' boat was carrying an unidentified woman in her late 40s. The woman had a shoulder injury and couldn't walk, Feidt said. She was taken to a hospital, authorities said.

The Sheriff's Office said three men in their early 20s were on the other boat, which was operated by John Palasky, 21, of New Port Richey.

They received bumps and bruises, a sheriff's spokesman said. Their boat, which appeared to be a 20-foot center console model, was towed to the dock.

Authorities are determining whether charges might be filed, Maj. Maurice Radford of the Sheriff's Office said. Radford said there was no indication that the boaters were under the influence of alcohol.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The boat accident near Anclote River Park happened Tuesday. An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect day.

One person dead in boating accident near Anclote River Park 08/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:56pm]
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