Woman killed when two airboats collide

By Tara Cardoso - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - It's something that just doesn't happen often -- two airboats collide. Sadly, 27-year old Callie McKenzie died in this freak accident.

Callie jumped at the chance to ride an airboat out in the wilderness. It would be her first time and, sadly, her last. Those close to Callie say she lived every day like it was her last.

After she said goodbye to her father. He told her be safe, have a good time and that he loved you. "She said, 'I love you, too.'"

Callie then jumped on an airboat with her boyfriend, Sean Murphy, and two other friends. They went out for a ride on the Blue Cypress Lake in western Indian River County.

However, tragedy stuck in a second when another airboat, driven by a 17 year old, collided with her boat.

Fish and Wildlife says the corner was tight, there were blind spots, and a lot of vegetation. "They go very fast. When you moving in that water, no brakes to stop you, what are you going to do?" said a spokesperson.

Friends at 'All Paws Animal Clinic' in Royal Palm Beach were she worked can't believe Callie isn't coming back. They have signs up showing just how much people will miss her.

Those who know her best say she wouldn't have done anything differently.

Her boyfriend told us over the phone he's lost the love of his life. He tried to revive her with CPR. But says she died in his arms.

In Florida, you do not need a license to operate an airboat. But if the driver is under the age of 21, they must have a boating safety certificate. At this point, we don't know if the driver of the other airboat had a certificate.