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Monday 08 July, 2024
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Adrienne Vaughan killed in horror speedboat crash

BY Sharmeen Hussain Aug 05, 2023. 12:47 am UPDATED: Aug 05, 2023. 12:47 am

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Bloomsbury USA’s president was killed in front of her husband and two young children when their speedboat collided with a sailing ship off the coast of Italy.

Adrienne Vaughan, 44, whose firm is best known for the “Harry Potter” books, was catapulted into the ocean on contact and landed between the hulls of the two vessels before being killed by the speedboat’s propeller, according to local media reports.

A terrifying video shot by a wedding party guest aboard the popular sailing ship shows swimsuit-clad revelers dancing to Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody” until violence breaks out.

“What happened?” one woman asks, as a horrified-sounding man replies: “This ship collided with us!”

“Jesus Christ,” another man cries out as the music stops and people rush to look over the sides, seeing Vaughan’s teen daughter bobbing in the waves amid debris.

Adrienne Vaughan

Others observed the New York-based publishing president in the sea, supported by her husband and children, said Pietro Iuzzolino, a bartender on the wrecked sailing ship “Tortuga.”

“She didn’t have an arm, and the nape of her neck was white, as if there was no blood flowing,” he told the Italian daily Corriere del Mezzogiorno. “It was terrible.”

Mike White, Vaughan’s husband, was also hurt. According to local accounts, he was taken to a hospital in Castiglione di Ravello and underwent surgery on his left shoulder.

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Their children, Leanna, 14, and Mason, 11, were not physically wounded but were treated for shock, according to accounts.

According to Italian news agency ANSA, the speedboat driver, only identified as a 30-year-old guy, was also hospitalized with rib and pelvic injuries and allegedly passed toxicological tests following the incident.

“We got the impression he was drunk,” said Iuzzolino, a bartender who witnessed the speedboat driver vomit after the incident.

Vaughan and her family had leased the 29-foot speedboat with a skipper and were touring the stunning Furore fjord off the Amalfi coast near Naples Thursday evening when the vessel performed a sudden 180-degree turn and plowed with the 130-foot “Tortuga” ship, according to local media.

The larger vessel was transporting 85 people, including German and American visitors celebrating a wedding.Iuzzolino stated that he was pouring a cocktail when he heard a “loud bang” and then observed Vaughan and her family struggling in the waves.

Vaughan was retrieved from the sea and brought to shore, where emergency responders performed CPR to try to save her life. Later, a medical helicopter was called to the area to remove the seriously injured traveler.

Adrienne Vaughan

After a year as executive director and COO, Vaughan was named president of Bloomsbury USA in September 2021.
Vaughan formerly worked as an executive for the Disney publishing company after graduating from NYU Stern School of Business with an MBA in finance.

Bloomsbury USA did not reply to messages left on Friday.

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