The family of an Illinois mother who was killed in a horrific parasailing accident in the Florida Keys has filed a wrongful death suit against the boat operator, according to their lawyer.
Supraja Alaparthi, 33, was parasailing with her young son and nephew on Memorial Day when sudden high winds threatened to drag the boat that was towing them.
Eight of their relatives were in the vessel as they flew through the air above them.
Captain Daniel Couch, 49, opted to cut the tow line, hoping that he could rescue the Illinois tourists after they descended.
But the parasail dragged the victims at high speed along the water’s choppy surface for nearly two miles before they smashed into a bridge.
Alaparthi died from the impact while her nephew, 9-year-old Vishant Sadda, sustained serious injuries.
Her son, Shriakshith Alaparthi, 10, suffered minor wounds and continues to suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Attorney Michael Haggard said the family was concerned about blustery conditions before the excursion and suggested postponing the trip for a day. But the operator, Haggard said, assured them that it was safe.
They are suing the company for failing to properly train staff and for operating in hazardous weather.
Parasailing trailblazer Mark McCulloh, 66, told the Miami Herald at the time that Couch violated a “golden rule” in cutting the line — with potentially deadly consequences.
“He should never have done that,” McCulloch said. “That’s the golden rule. Do not cut the line.”