Two 17 year-olds from Indiana are in critical condition today after their parasail crashed in a Panama City Beach parking lot. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office reports that a parasail had been attached to a boat Monday afternoon when the line broke, with one victim being rescued after dropping into the Gulf of Mexico and two other people continuing on until the parasail crashed into a nearby parking lot.
Described as “gruesome” by one witness, the teens smashed into a building, carried on to a power line and crashed into several cars inside the parking lot. The victims both went limp after hitting the side of the condo and only one was conscious when rescuers arrived, the report said.
This is yet another example of why John Leighton has been working diligently for years to spearhead legislation that will bring regulation to this rogue industry. This latest case once again raises the question – just how many people will have to be critically injured or even die before changes are made?
“How high does the body count have to get before the Florida Legislature will actually pass one of the bills on parasailing safety?” asks Leighton following this tragedy. “For the past six years there have been bills to prevent this exact event, and each year the bills die.”
Leighton has been working with Shannon Kraus, mother of two teens who were victimized in an almost identical catastrophe in 2007 off of Pompano Beach.
Kraus is the mother of 15-year-old Amber May White. In 2007 Leighton represented this family and brought a negligence lawsuit against the parasail operators and the resort where Amber May was killed. Amber May died while parasailing from head trauma along with internal injuries, sustained when she crashed into a building when the parasail on which she was riding snapped. Amber’s sister Crystal suffered head injuries in this tragedy. Leighton and Kraus’ efforts have resulted in a bill which they hope will finally become a law this year.
You can read more on the accident here – http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/02/2-teens-in-critical-condition-after-parasailing-accident-in-panama-city-florida/