It’s been a deadly week of powerboat racing in Key West. A third racer has died following a crash on Friday.
An offshore powerboat racer has died after being critically injured in an accident at the Key West World Championship, the third racer killed during the boating competition.
Joey Gratton, 59, of Sarasota, Fla., died Saturday morning at the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami from injuries sustained Friday, said Super Boat International spokesman Roderick Cox. Gratton’s racing partner Stephen Page, of Fort Myers, was released from the hospital Saturday.
Just two days earlier, two racers were killed in a horrific crash on the last lap of Wednesday’s race in front of hundreds of spectators.
Two powerboat racers were killed Wednesday when their catamaran went straight up into the air and landed backwards in the water during a race at the Key West World Championship.
Jeff Tillman and Robert Morgan, the driver and throttleman of Big Thunder Marine, a 46-foot powerboat, died in the accident, Superboat International said in a statement.
Superboat International President John Carbonell, who witnessed the crash, told the Associated Press that the boat was travelling at 130 mph when the incident occurred close to a spectator area.
Video of Wednesday’s crash is below.