Girl in boating accident died from striking her head

Girl in boating accident died from striking her head

Girl in boating accident died from striking her head

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 20 at 3:56 PM

SLIDELL, La. - The 12-year-old girl whose body was found after a boating accident died from blunt force trauma to her head, according to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office.

Samantha Vinturella died instantly after the trauma, said a spokesman for the coroner. The coroner, Dr. Peter Galvan, said the death was not from drowning.

Vinturella struck the windshield of the boat before entering the water.

Her body was found Tuesday in Lake Borgne, about 5-6 miles from the accident scene.

Vinturella was on a boat driven by Paul Battle, 48, of Mandeville.  He could face charges because the young girl was not wearing a life jacket in his 15-foot Logic vessel, a violation of state law.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the three other young girls in Battle's boat were reportedly wearing life jackets. They were also thrown from the vessel in the collision, but were rescued by a passing boat.

According to officials, Battle's boat suffered minor damage, but the other boat, a 20-foot Kenner, had significant damage. The driver of that vessel has been identified as Marion Funchess, 61, of Folsom.

Officials said the two crashed head on as Battle was headed in from the bayou, and Funchess was headed out.

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