Watercraft collision off Madeira Beach sends woman to hospital - FOX 13 News

Watercraft collision off Madeira Beach sends Sarasota woman to hospital

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The mishap occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon off Madeira Beach in Pinellas County. The mishap occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon off Madeira Beach in Pinellas County.
MADEIRA BEACH (FOX 13) -

A Sarasota woman was seriously injured when two personal watercraft collided off Madeira Beach Saturday afternoon.

Lauren Bell, 25, was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the second vehicle, John Geletka of Sarasota, was not hurt.

According to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report, Geletka, 49, and Bell were riding the watercraft north of John's Pass Bridge just before 2:30 p.m. when the collision occurred.

Investigators say Bell was heading south with Geletka following approximately 20 yards behind when Bell made an abrupt 180-degree turn. Witnesses say both were traveling at a high rate of speed, the report states.

Geletka was unable to avoid the collision and struck Bell's watercraft head-on. Galetka's vessel traveled over top of Bell, causing serious injuries to her head and face.

She was ejected from the watercraft as well.

Geletka got Bell out of the water and onto his vessel. He immediately began yelling for help as he transported her back to shore.

Deputies initially reported the two victims were dating, but Geletka later said that was incorrect and that he and Bell were co-workers.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in this incident. The official cause of the cause is not yet known as the investigation continues.

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