Toxicology tests are pending in a two-boat crash on Biscayne Bay that killed a 29-year-old mother of three during the Columbus Day weekend.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say a 27-foot Pro-Line boat and a 63-foot yacht collided just after 10 p.m. on Saturday.
On board the smaller boat were 34-year-old Maykal Perdermo and his wife, 29-year-old Maria del Valle, along with their friend, Dayron Baralt, 23. Del Valle died after being rushed to Ryder Trauma Center and Baralt suffered serious injuries. Perdermo was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he is recovering from minor injuries.
None of the 21 people aboard the 63-foot boat were injured.
After the crash, flares were shot into the air. Because it was a holiday weekend, which typically sees increased boat accidents, more officers were out patrolling and were able to quickly respond, Channel 7 News reported.
"At some point the two vessels collided. We don't know exactly why that collision occurred," FWC spokesman Jorge Pino told Channel 7 News in Miami. "The three people on board the Pro-Line ended up in the water."
On Saturday night, officers were seen performing a sobriety test on the operator of the larger yacht. His blood was also drawn.
"We want to know if speed played a role in this accident, whether alcohol played a role in this accident," Pino said. The FWC said it will take a couple of weeks to get his toxicology report back.
The FWC is pulling the GPS information from both vessels to see whether it can help the investigation.
Maria del Valle’s father, Lazaro del Valle, told the network that he hopes alcohol didn't play a role in his daughter's death.
“Somebody who gets on a boat needs to know the sea," he said through a translator. "You can't just turn on a motorboat, get yourself a license and call yourself a driver like most kids do nowadays. Kids buy a boat, and they're off in the ocean with a bottle of rum and beer.”
FWC officials are handing out fliers to boaters, warning them about speeding.