Panhandle Boating Deaths Ruled Accidental

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

Associated Press News Release

NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Autopsy reports say a former high school basketball coach and two young women were intoxicated when they were thrown into the water after their boat struck a bridge piling.

The crash happened on the Choctawhatchee Bay in December. Authorities have classified their deaths as accidental.

The Northwest Florida Daily News (http://bit.ly/1nvAlYU ) reports the body of 18-year-old Taylor Evanoff was found in the water on Dec. 6. The bodies of 47-year-old Robert Williams and 21-year-old Jamilia Beltz were found the next day. Authorities believe the boat crashed Dec. 5.

Authorities believe they had been at a club until just before midnight Dec. 4 before heading out in Williams' boat.

Williams coached the Bay High School boys basketball team for five seasons, leading them to a state Final Four berth in 2003.

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Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), http://www.nwfdailynews.com


Associated Press News Release

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) -- Three people are dead after a boat crashed into a bridge piling in the Florida Panhandle.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Northwest Florida Daily News (http://bit.ly/1bwLBBK) that the bodies of 21-year-old Jamila Beltz, 18-year-old Taylor M. Evanoff, and 47-year-old Robert E. Williams have been pulled from the water.

Investigators say it appears that their boat hit a piling under the Mid-Bay Bridge in Destin sometime late Thursday.

Beltz's and Williams' bodies were recovered Saturday, and Evanoff's body was recovered Friday.

Investigators say they are looking at computer data from the boat's motor.

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Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), http://www.nwfdailynews.com


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