Tour boat and PBSO boat collide - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tour boat and PBSO boat collide

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - An investigation is underway Wednesday night into how a tour boat slammed into a boat that held five Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputies during a training exercise.

Two deputies were injured, one of them seriously, in a crash that happened in the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge during a police training mission Wednesday.

Deputy John Killingsworth is being treated at Delray Medical Center, but he is expected to survive.

The owner of the Ride the Wind Air tour boat, Randy Meeker, who was also driving, said he narrowly avoided a head-on crash.

The deputies' boat was carrying six -- five deputies and an intern. "Two boats tangled up down there pretty bad," said Lyle Thomas who witnessed the aftermath of the accident.

Meeker said that one of his passengers was injured. A young woman was seen hobbling afterward. The Fish and Wildlife Commission says the cause was still being investigated.

"They were going in opposite directions," says Gabriella Ferraro, a spokesperson for the Fish and Wildlife Commission, "One was going north, one was going south, and they were passing and something happened along the way that led to this collision."

The crash left one deputy with serious but non-life threatening injuries, witnesses say, to his foot.

Deputies won't elaborate on the training exercise, but say it's part of routine work they do in the Everglades.

The owner of the tour company says he lost his only boat Wednesday, and that his business is in danger of going under.

It could be months before the finding of the Fish and Wildlife Commission is released.

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