Florida Sen. David Simmons said he didn’t know that two family members had taken out his boat before it crashed Tuesday morning on a Lake Maitland dock, seriously injuring three passengers.
The three are recovering from injuries at the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Simmons told News 13 he got a call at about 2 a.m. saying he needed to go to a hospital because his youngest daughter, Alicya, was hurt. He said she suffered a broken leg, underwent surgery and is expected to recover.
Just after midnight, the boat with eight people aboard crashed into a dock near Summerland Avenue and Columbia Drive, throwing them from the impact.
Some neighbors along Lake Maitland came out to try to help. Jordan Wilson spoke to one of the teenage boys from the boat.
“Two of his friends were thrown off the boat and ended up in a fountain," Wilson said. "(He had a) head injury. He saw the stretchers take a few of the boys out.”
After failing a field sobriety test, Maitland Police arrested the boat's operator, 45-year-old Krystyna Vitiello, on charges of boating under the influence with serious injury. She was booked into the Orange County Jail. Vitiello is Alicya Simmons’ aunt and ex-sister-in-law of the state senator.
“I think we see the result of what happened last night," neighbor Glenn Hohman said. "Nobody likes to visit the hospital with serious injuries."
In the daylight, significant damage can be seen on the bow of the sport boat as it was towed out of Lake Maitland.
"The peninsula can sneak up on you if you don't know or if you've never been in swamp area or on the water at night," said Mark Winton, who lives in the area where the crash occurred. "It can be very difficult to navigate without lights."
Property records show Simmons owns a home on Lake Maitland. He said he was not there the night of the crash.
“This activity shouldn’t occur at nighttime," Wilson said. "It's just dangerous.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Maitland Police are investigating the crash. Maitland Police are investigating the DUI charge and whether alcohol was provided to minors.
FWC identified the people on the boat at the time of the crash as Vitiello; Porter McGuer; Jorge Rodriguez; Jared A. Coxey; Averina I. Singh, 18; Paul R. Smith, 18; and Alicya Simmons. McGuer, Rodriguez and Simmons were taken to ORMC with serious injuries.
Krystyna Vitiello (Orange County Jail)
At least 3 people were injured after a boat crashed into a dock early Tuesday, April 5, 2016, on Lake Maitland. (Bailey Myers, staff)