Woman killed when airboat hit object in water in Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A New Year’s boat ride turned deadly for a family in Polk County.

Stephanie Wright, 44, of Lake Wales, was killed when the boat she was riding in hit an object in the water.

“My wife came with the phone, and she was crying. She said ‘we lost our Stephanie,’” the victim’s uncle, David Clemons, told News Channel 8. “We cried for a while.”

On Jan. 1 at 1:40 a.m., the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the airboat accident on Crooked Lake, near Frostproof.

According to FWC, the 13-foot airboat hit barbed wire. The family of four, including Wright, were on board at the time of the accident, three adults and one minor.

According to FWC, a man suffered serious injuries from the accident. Another adult on board and one juvenile had minor injuries.

“There are cow pastures down there and fences that run out into the lake to keep the cattle from going into other properties around there,” Clemons explained.

“She is definitely going to be missed by a lot of people here in this area. It’s just a freak accident,” Clemons said. “It’s just unbelievable. I don’t know what else to say but it hurts.”

The accident is still under investigation with the FWC and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

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