2 people airlifted in Lower Keys boat crash into mangroves

Two people suffered head injuries and were airlifted to a Miami hospital Thursday night after their boat crashed into mangroves near Summerland Key, police said.

Jason Timothy Gabriel, 46, and his wife Debi Gabriel, 51, were riding in a Yellowfin bay boat at about 9:55 p.m. when the boat, which was moving at a high rate of speed, crashed into some mangroves, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The boat struck the mangroves oceanside of Crab Key.

Both were reported to be in stable condition on Friday morning, said Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers took both to the Venture Out Resort boat ramp on Cudjoe Key, where deputies and paramedics were waiting.

The FWC is still investigating.

Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.