WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A medical examiner says a woman on a boat died when a ray jumped out of the water in the Florida Keys and hit her face, breaking her skull in several places and causing brain injuries.
Judy Zagorski of Pigeon, Michigan, was in the front of a boat yesterday when a 75-pound spotted eagle ray leapt from the water and hit the 57-year-old in a freak collision.
Monroe County's medical examiner, Doctor Michael Hunter, determined the cause of death was "blunt force" head trauma and that the collision with the ray killed her off Marathon, about 50 miles northeast of Key West.
She was not stung by the ray's poisonous barb. The collision knocked Zagorski backward, onto the floor of the boat.
The family requested that no autopsy be performed.
In 2006, a South Florida man was critically injured when a stingray flopped into his boat and stung him.
"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was killed when a stingray's barb pierced his heart off Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)