Survivors of boat crash say they’re lucky to be alive

Published: Updated:

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. – Four people, including a son and father, are thankful to spend this Father’s Day together, after they were involved in a frightening boat crash Saturday evening.

Nine-year-old Jerrod Ehling was with his dad, uncle and cousin when he said the boat’s steering wheel “got messed up” and they crashed.

“We hit the corner of the pylon,” he said. “I woke up… and I was like, ‘what happened?'”

Ehling’s mother, Angela, said her son suffered a concussion and several cuts. He was flown to Children’s hospital in Tampa. Meanwhile, his dad spent Father’s Day in the hospital recovering after a five hour surgery to repair severe cuts on his back.

“My husband’s got two gashes on his left arm, and had his shoulder dislocated and he said all he could think about was getting to little Jerrod and making sure everyone else is okay,” Angela Ehling said.

She says her brother-in-law was also still in the hospital with a fractured vertebrae and pelvic bone. Amazingly, she says her teen nephew walked away from the crash with only a few cuts.

Ehling said strangers called her Saturday around 6 p.m. saying there had been a boat wreck and her husband and son were involved. The boat crashed under the U.S. 41 bridge in Punta Gorda.

“The pin came out of the steering column and the steering wheel locked to the right and went right into the pylon,” explained Angela.

Sunday, Ehling was calling the survival a miracle, and she said there was someone else watching over her son Jerrod.

“What she [the woman who called her] told me… My son was sitting on this concrete pylon talking to an older gentleman… My brother-in-law was in the water, my husband was in the water and my nephew was in the water. There was nobody else, I’m pretty sure it was an angel.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are investigating the crash.

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