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Longboat Key Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 10 years ago

Widow sues tugboat operators for husband's death

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The widow of a Deltona man who was sucked under a barge in Longboat Pass while trying to free his jet ski July 4 is suing the tugboat operators in the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Christie Soto, widow of Jose H. Medina, alleges in the lawsuit that the tugboat operators violated federal law by obstructing navigable waters adjacent to Coquina Bayside Park and its public boat ramp.

The Medina family and their friends and family were in the park when Jose Medina’s jet ski experienced mechanical trouble about 25 yards from the family’s picnic site.

As Jose Medina was attempting to restart the vehicle, both he and the watercraft were forced against the side of the moored tug and barge, and were sucked underneath the barge when both were snagged by the barge’s undercarriage and heavy marine growth.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount on behalf of Jose Medina’s wife and five children.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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