CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - A Georgia woman remained in critical condition Tuesday after suffering major injuries during a parasailing accident on Sunday at Clearwater Beach.
The Captain of the boat Derek Lombardi says, "He is devastated by the accident and is praying for Alejandra White to get better and make a full recovery." He says, "I don't care about my business. I only care about her."
Manesh Lad and his wife were on the boat. He says, "One couple went up and came down fine. Then when Alejandra White and her fiance Shaun Ladd went up midway through their ride the winds just picked up and rock the boat. We flew from one side of the boat to another."
Alejandra White, 27, was parasailing with Sky Screamer Parasailing Sunday afternoon. The line connecting the sail to the boat snapped and White fell into the water.
A gust of wind then picked up the sail and pulled it toward the beach. White was still attached and she crashed into umbrellas and a wooden pole as the sail dragged her toward shore.
“She looked like a bowling ball,” said Toni Counts from Spring Hill, who witnessed the crash. “If it wasn’t for the (wood) post she probably would have gone into the traffic.”
“I was just hoping she was wouldn’t hit the poles. I knew that would be a very bad situation for her,” said Jodie Martin, who was visiting Clearwater from Orlando. She and her husband were celebrating their first wedding anniversary at the beach.
Witnesses estimated that White was traveling 30-40 miles an hour as the sail dragged her onto the beach.
“It was unbelievable the speed behind it,” said Rick Martin.
“We knew that something bad had happened,” added Myra Palomares, who was visiting from Orlando and witnessed the crash.
Paramedics rushed White to Bayfront Medical Center Sunday night.
A spokesperson for Clearwater Police told local media outlets Sunday night that White had passed away. An official with Florida Fish and Wildlife later confirmed that White was still alive and the Clearwater Police report was erroneous.
An official with Florida Fish and Wildlife also said Monday the organization would be investigating whether the parasailing company was guilty of any criminal negligence that may have contributed to the incident.