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Deadly boat collision in NJ kills 1, injures 4

May 23, 2009 4:10:43 PM PDT
A collision between two boats on a New Jersey river left one man dead and four other people hospitalized, including two who were in critical condition Saturday. Coast Guard officials said a 15-foot skiff carrying five people and a 25-foot Boston Whaler with two people aboard collided around 7:40 p.m. Friday on the north side of the Manasquan River, between Point Pleasant Beach and Brielle. The boats were headed in separate directions at the time, and it was not immediately clear what caused the accident.

Three passengers in the smaller boat were ejected into the water, including Kyle Tanis, 24, of Mahwah. Emergency services personnel pulled Tanis from the water and attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

The others aboard the skiff were identified Saturday as Gina Franzino, 22, Jamie Franzino, 19, and Jessica Moncada, 20, all from Mahwah, and David Martinez, 24 of Moonachie. Martinez, the boat's owner, was operating it at the time.

Authorities said the Franzinos, who are sisters, were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where they were listed in critical condition. Moncada and Martinez also were taken to the hospital and were treated for undisclosed injuries. They were released several hours later.

The two men aboard the larger boat, which goes by the name Pura Vida, were not injured in the collision, and their names were not immediately released. The crash tore the tail off the skiff and left its front end heavily damaged. Its center console was ripped from the hull by the impact. The Boston Whaler also sustained extensive damage.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Chris McLaughlin said at the time of the crash, the skiff was headed into the Manasquan inlet and the Boston Whaler motoring out when the skiff's pilot somehow lost control. After the collision, the smaller boat came to rest in about 2 feet of water near Fishermen's Cove, a conservation area also known as Dog Beach.

McLaughlin said it remained unclear Saturday if drugs or alcohol played a role.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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