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Panhandle Boating Deaths Ruled Accidental

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Autopsy reports say a former high school basketball coach and two young women were intoxicated when they were thrown into the water after their boat struck a bridge piling.

The crash happened on the Choctawhatchee Bay in December.

Authorities have classified their deaths as accidental.

The body of 18-year-old Taylor Evanoff was found in the water on Dec. 6. The bodies of 47-year-old Robert Williams and 21-year-old Jamilia Beltz were found the next day. Authorities believe the boat crashed Dec. 5.

Authorities believe they had been at a club until just before midnight Dec. 4 before heading out in Williams' boat.

Williams coached the Bay High School boys basketball team for five seasons, leading them to a state Final Four berth in 2003.


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