Hit-and-run boating victims speak about crash
COCONUT GROVE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A couple nearly killed in a hit-and-run collision on the water is sharing their story.
Brenda O'Campo and her boyfriend, Steve Hudson, were just one mile off Dinner Key Marina on July 28, when a 25-foot vessel rammed into their 13-foot boat.
After the crash, the boat took off, leaving the couple of two years injured and lost at sea. "I was just very scared and cold, and I was scared for him because he was bleeding a lot. I wasn't sure if he was going to make it," O'Campo said. "It was bad, really bad."
The impact of the collision knocked Hudson unconscious. The GPS and the flares onboard the boat were thrown overboard in the crash.
O'Campo, who suffered a head injury in the hit-and-run, called 911 for help. "Where are we, Steve? Tell me, where are we at? Baby, look that way. Please tell me where we're at. Steve! Steve!" she can be heard saying while on the phone with the 911 operator.
"I was on the phone with 911," said O'Campo, "and the lady from 911 told me to put a life vest on him, to put a life vest on me, and to hold his wound so he wouldn't bleed to death."
Hudson suffered several injuries as a result of the collision and will need extensive surgery on his eye, since the retina and cornea were damaged in the incident. He said, "They removed 50 stitches from my head. I had broken cheeks, a broken forehead, a broken nose. I have a plate holding my jaw together because it's separated."
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials believe they have found the boat responsible for the hit-and-run, but the vessel's driver took off after the incident. The boat's owner said the vessel was stolen.
The couple cannot believe someone could do such a horrible thing. "I'm on the water all the time, and this is the first accident I've been in," said Hudson.
O'Campo said, "You don't hit someone in the water and just leave, because we could have died. He left us to die."
However, they are happy they survived the terrible crash. "I love him with all my heart, and I don't want to lose him, ever. I'm happy we're alive," said O'Campo. "I saved both of our lives. You do what you have to do to survive."
They have now hired Attorney Ervin Gonzalez, who had this to say to the person responsible: "The best thing to do is to come forward and say, 'I did it, I'm sorry, I was wrong, and I want to make it better.' Failure to do so will be a very expensive mistake."
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the boater responsible for this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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