Texas woman recovers after airboat crash

Deana Baggett thrown off airboat during collision Sunday afternoon

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation for a family from Texas – but then airboat collided with another airboat over the weekend. 

"I believe if it would have been head-on one of us, if not more of us, in our boat would not be here," Deana Baggett said.

The crash took place Sunday while the family was enjoying an airboat ride in the Everglades near mile marker 35 on Interstate 75.  


Hollywood resident Brian Cullen, 31, was operating a 2016 Florida homemade airboat while 50-year-old Florida City resident Jose Martinez was operating the other airboat, also a 2016 homemade boat. 

The Baggett  family were passengers on Martinez’s airboat.

"Right when we came around the corner we were heading head on to the other boat," Baggett said.

Baggett said everyone in her boat was thrown into the water. 

"When we went into the water my first thought as we went into the water infested with alligators so we were all very scared so I was just getting back to the boat as fast as they could," Baggett said.

Two teens on the airboat, Christopher Baggett, 19, and Tanner Baggett, 15, were not injured. Neither was Deana Baggett's husband Rex Baggett, 49.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue took Deana Baggett to Broward Health Medical Center where she got stitches on her legs.

"Midway from my shin all of the way to my ankle that kind of just scraped open," Deana Baggett said.

She’s since been released from the hospital and said she is in a lot of pain, but happy it wasn’t worse.

"I feel lucky; I do," Deana Baggett said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission is investigating the cause of the crash and said in a media release that Both boat operators were issued with citations as a result of the crash.

Meanwhile, the Baggett family is on its way back to Texas. 


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