06/15/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Jupiter, FL—A violent boating accident left an off-duty Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) deputy to suffer traumatic injuries, forcing her to have her arm amputated. The boat crash occurred in the Intercoastal Waterway on Saturday afternoon, June 12, 2010, according to information provided by the Palm Beach Post.

Reports indicated 42-year-old Deputy Cheryl Griffin was operating her private watercraft when she smashed into a dry dock. On impact, a boat on a lift fell on top of her 20-foot vessel.

The accident sent debris flying around the point of impact, momentarily pinning Griffin underwater. Luckily, a neighbor managed to help free the submerged deputy.

The horrific boat wreck occurred north of the Donald Ross Bridge, near the 14000 block of Paradise Point Road.

Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel were subsequently dispatched to the scene. Griffin was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center via Trauma Hawk. Due to the severity of her injuries, doctors were forced to amputate the former Royal Palm Beach police officer’s arm.

A passenger aboard the watercraft, 38-year-old Melissa Burdeen, also suffered injuries. She was transported to Jupiter Medical Center where she was treated and released. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) spokesperson Gabriella Ferraro, Burdeen’s injuries were minor.

FWC officials are conducting a full probe into the 4 p.m. boat crash.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Boating Accident Lawyers.

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