Well-known Florida lawyer dies in boat crash

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A prominent Tampa lawyer died in a boating accident last week while on a lobstering trip in Key West.

Mary Taylor, 68, who practiced civil law at her own firm, was one of two women who jumped off a 44-foot catamaran when they spotted a large sportfishing boat racing toward them, said Capt. David Dipre of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The boat tried to avoid hitting the catamaran anchored about two miles north of Key West, but it was too late, Dipre said.

"When it made a minor course correction, it struck the people in the water," he said.

Both Taylor and Paula MacKay of Austin, Texas, were airlifted by the U.S. Coast Guard to the Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West. Taylor was declared dead there. MacKay was last reported to be in stable condition.

The driver of the sportfishing boat, Richard Perez of Tampa, could face criminal charges, Dipre said. An investigation is ongoing.

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