Horrific Personal Watercraft Crash Leaves Father and Daughter Seriously Injured

A father and daughter were seriously injured in a personal watercraft crash last month, causing some to call for further regulation of the watercraft. 

NWFDailyNews.com reports that a group of 6 personal watercraft were on a guided tour of Poquito Bayou in Okaloosa County when one of the group crashed into a craft occupied by 17-year-old Bethany Phillips and her father James. The personal watercraft t-boned and seriously injured the father and daughter, who were on their way to Bethany’s grandfather’s house at the time of the crash. Bethany’s injuries were so severe that she faced possible leg amputation. 

Good Samaritans Robert and Helen Dunkerson rushed to the Phillips’ aid, assisting firefighter and lifeguard Cory Hill and others who provided life-saving medical assistance to the pair. Helen Dunkerson, who is a registered nurse, said that in her opinion “Between us and the Hills being there, if it had to happen somewhere it’s good that it happened here.”

Robert Dunkerson was so impacted by the scene that he reached out to his local County Commissioner Trey Goodwin to ask him to further regulate the watercraft. The report says that currently the county only requires renters to pass a 25-question book exam before obtaining a temporary license to operate the jet skis.