Man loses leg in hit-and-run boating accident
4 people injured, 2 taken to hospital after boat runs over smaller boat
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has named the 28-year-old who lost his leg after a boat crash Saturday night near the Vilano Bridge.
Deputies said Logan Farquhar, of St. Augustine, was fishing with his girlfriend and two men about 11 p.m. when their small boat was struck by another boat, which kept going.
News4Jax was told Farquhar will spend up to a week more in the hospital to recover, but is stable and in good spirits.
We also spoke with one of the four survivors that was on the boat with Farquhar, Dakota Smith.
"I kind of just want to honestly forget the whole situation happened. Because like I said it was a nightmare, I don't care to re-live that," Smith said. "I'd rather put it in past but I'll always remember. Because I honestly learned how valuable life is and how fragile it is."
Smith said he never saw the boat that hit them coming because it didn't have any lights on.
"One second we're out there having the time of our life, fishing and laughing and joking off and singing and goofing and next minute it's a tragedy and I'm scared to death," Smith said. "I thought I just lost all my friends."
Smith's friends started coming up out of the water. That's when people in the area started calling 911 once they realized what was happening.The Sheriff's Office received several 911 calls reporting the crash.
"Looks like the one boat has the girl and the guy that’s injured," one caller said.
"There was another boat that hit another boat and this guy lost his leg," another caller said.
Farquhar, his girlfriend, Billie Inman, Smith and one other were also injured in the crash.
"I woke up and I was inside the boat with another boat on top of me and water rushing in," Billie Inman, Farquhar's girlfriend, said. "And trying to figure out how to get out of the boat."
Part of a Farquhar's leg had to be amputated after a boating accident, but Inman said the doctors said that the tourniquet she applied saved his life. But she says he had already saved her life.
“If that didn't happen he could've bled out and died. So I saved his life. But he saved mine, too, because when that boat was coming, he jumped over me to go scoop me up to throw me out of the boat. But the boat, I'm assuming, was too fast and I fell inside the boat and (into) a little like cubbyhole and he got out of the boat and that's why I was trapped in it. But if he would've moved me they said that there was a good chance I could be cut in half right now,” Inman said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife personnel with the help the U.S. Coast Guard, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office helicopter and Sea Tow conducted a search for the boat that caused the damage and fled. The FWC said the located the owner of the boat that the scene and they had identified suspects who may have been operating it at the time.
As Inman thinks more about what happened, she doesn’t understand why the boaters who hit them just left.
“The boat landed on top of our boat. And the boat that me and Logan got on, he gave us -- it was the guy that ran us over, he gave me the rope to tie off his leg and he couldn't start his boat to bring us up to the boat ramp. And another boat ended up coming and bringing us to the boat ramp. And I don't know how he like left because I thought his engine couldn't start. But I guess once we got off the boat and we were gone he was able to beat it to somewhere else.”
"I have never heard of that happening, and I’ve owned my own boat since I was 22," said Freedom Boat Club owner Lisa Almeida. "I’ve never heard of that happening."
Almeida says people need to take responsibility for their boats and use caution.
"They should have a designated driver and they should have a designated look out," Almeida said. "Someone on the boat with you that is your look out to see what’s happening."
Almeida says everyone should get the proper training before operating a boat.
"I absolutely think there should be requirements," she said. "There is a lot to know about driving a boat. The wind, current, how to dock without crashing, how to anchor and anchor correctly."
Almeida says you need to have enough life vests on your boat for everyone, and they need to be in a place you can get to them quickly. You should also have flares and a safety horn. She says it’s also a good idea to make sure you tell someone on land where you are going and your plan.
Inman said she has no idea how much all of this is going to cost, but she’s set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs and rehabilitation.
Smith said he know investigators have tracked down the owner of the boat that hit them and interviewed him. It is unknown at this time if there are any arrests or charges.
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