Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Authorities identify Indian Rocks Beach man killed in personal watercraft accident

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Two men were riding a personal watercraft after sunset when they hit something in the water, authorities said, tossing them into the Intracoastal Waterway.

The driver found his unconscious passenger and headed to shore. But efforts to revive him along the way, and again at their home more than a mile from the accident scene, failed.

Victor Vazquez, 40, of Indian Rocks Beach died after the Saturday night crash.

Vazquez was aboard a watercraft owned and piloted by Robert W. Turnbull, 34, around 8:30 p.m. when it struck something — yet to be identified — in the Intracoastal Waterway just north of the Belleair Causeway, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman said Sunday.

Vazquez and Turnbull were thrown from the craft.

Turnbull managed to pull an unresponsive Vazquez from the water and bring him by boat to shore behind a home at 2507 Bay Blvd. in Indian Rocks Beach, south of the causeway.

A neighbor, Al Bellwood, said the two had recently moved to the Bay Boulevard duplex. Rescue crews could not revive Vazquez when he arrived onshore at house. Turnbull suffered minor injuries.

Both men were wearing life jackets, according to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Although a nearly full moon illuminated the Intracoastal, the two were riding on a water scooter well after the sun had gone down — which is prohibited by state law.

The Saturday night crash is at least the second personal watercraft fatality so far this year in the Tampa Bay area to occur after dark.

On a Saturday in late January, a Lutz man was killed and a woman was injured when two personal watercrafts collided around 3 a.m., on Lake Hobbs in northern Hillsborough County. Neither was wearing a life jacket.

Florida law prohibits piloting a personal watercraft from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise.

Records show Turnbull has state registrations for a 10-foot fiberglass personal watercraft and a 31-foot cabin motorboat.

He could not be reached Sunday for comment.

Times staff writer Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Authorities identify Indian Rocks Beach man killed in personal watercraft accident 03/11/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 11, 2012 10:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

    Politics

    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.