News Releases

5 injured in Black Creek boating accident

News Release

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525

Five people were injured Tuesday afternoon on Black Creek in Clay County when their 21-foot open-deck boat hit trees, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.

Injured were:

  • Melissa S. Garlinghouse (DOB 11/30/77), operator, Fleming Island.
  • Reilly Garlinghouse (DOB 09/28/98), Fleming Island.
  • Mary K. Sutton (DOB 11/26/75), Middleburg.
  • Spencer E. Sutton (DOB 08/21/06), Middleburg.
  • Tracie Blair (DOB 08/05/74) (no hometown listed).

Samantha Garlinghouse (DOB 06/20/02), Fleming Island; Collier Blair (DOB 08/23/02); and Bailey Blair (DOB 02/27/07) also were aboard the boat but were not injured. The injured were transported to University of Florida Health Jacksonville with non-life-threatening injuries.

The vessel was headed toward Knights Boat Ramp at the U.S. Highway 17 Bridge, in an attempt to get out of bad weather, according to FWC investigators. The boat veered right and hit trees and the creek’s shoreline. The boat came to rest approximately 25-30 feet into the woods along the shore.

The FWC is continuing the investigation.

FWC Facts:
The life expectancy for Gulf sturgeon is 20-42 years. The oldest age documented for a tagged and recaptured Suwannee River Gulf sturgeon is about 27-28 years.

Learn More at AskFWC