An aide to Gov. Rick Scott passed away Sunday night when the boat he was riding on crashed into mangroves in a narrow channel on Islamorada.
Jereima Bustamante, 33, suffered severe injuries and died at Mariners Tavernier Hospital, said Bobby Dube, agent of the Fish and Wildlife Service of Florida. Bustamante was a passenger in the 18-foot boat, under the command of Eddy Briel, 39, at about 6:15 p.m.
Bustamante was Scott’s press secretary. The governor’s office issued the following statement Monday afternoon:
“It was with great sadness that we learned today about the death of our long-standing press secretary, Jeri Bustamante, who served faithfully in our government. Anyone who has known Jeri knows the excellent person he was. Today we accompany your family in your pain. ”
For reasons still under investigation, the vessel left the canal and crashed into the mangroves, Dube said. The boat also included Anthony Bustamante, 37, and Geydis Briel, 32, who was injured in the accident, as was Eddy Briel. Dube said the severity of his injuries was not immediately known.
It is not suspected that alcohol has been a factor in what happened and the area is not restricted, which means that ships do not have to move at reduced speed, Dube said.
People who travelled behind the boat stopped and took the wounded to their boat, where they tried to revive Jereima Bustamante until they arrived at the Marina dock Whale Harbor, where the paramedics were waiting for them.
Source: El Nuevo Herald