Deltona man accused of boating under the influence, causing July 4th boat crash on Lake Jesup

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A Deltona man was arrested in Seminole County this week, accused of being drunk when he crashed his boat into another one on Independence Day, sending multiple people to the hospital.


According to a report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an officer on water patrol in Seminole County responded to reports of a boating accident between a pontoon and a “bowrider” style motorboat on the southwest side of Lake Jesup.

Both boats had already been moved to a nearby ramp and Seminole County deputies secured the scene before the FWC officer arrived.

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The responding officers noted that the pontoon was completely caved in on one side where the bowrider struck it.

After interviewing both boat operators and other witnesses, the officers determined that the bowrider, driven by 42-year-old Michael Hawkins of Deltona, was headed back towards the boat ramp when it struck the pontoon at high speed.

The collision sent several people on the pontoon to the hospital and even ejected one passenger into the water.

Investigators say Hawkins then continued towards the boat ramp where his trailer was parked without ever attempting to render aid to the occupants of the pontoon or returning to assess the crash scene for damage or injuries.

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While speaking with Hawkins, the FWC officer noted he had red, glossy eyes and a strong smell of alcohol coming from him.

According to a report, Hawkins agreed to participate in “seated” field sobriety tasks and “performed poorly.”

Hawkins was arrested and charged with boating under the influence and leaving the scene of a boating accident.

Also onboard Hawkins’ boat at the time of the crash were his girlfriend, an 18-month-old boy, a two-year-old boy, a 16-year-old boy, and a six-month-old girl, earning him additional charges of child neglect and boating under the influence with a person under 18 in the vessel.

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He has since been released from the Seminole County jail after posting bond.

According to FWC, Hawkins later explained that he knew he had struck a vessel and should have checked to make sure they were okay but continued back to the boat ramp anyway.

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