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Principal dies, daughter, 4, critically injured in boating accident in Clearwater

Posted: 7:51 PM, Sep 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-26 08:19:04Z
Man, 4-year-old child injured in boating crash
Man, 4-year-old child injured in boating crash
Man, 4-year-old child injured in boating crash
Man, 4-year-old child injured in boating crash
Man, 4-year-old child injured in boating crash
Man, 4-year-old child injured in boating crash

A charter school principal and his 4-year-old daughter were rushed to area hospitals after a boat crash in Clearwater on Saturday.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Craig Butz, 52, and his 4-year-old daughter were injured when their personal watercraft collided with a boat. The 34-foot center console boat was operated by Thomas Carey, 67, of Clearwater, according to FWC.

It happened in the area of 941 Bay Esplanade around 4:48 p.m.

Butz was transported to Morton Plant Hospital and later died from his injuries. His daughter was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in serious condition. The last known status of the injured child is still critical.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. It could be at least 30-45 days for any type of written report indicating contributing factors, citations, possible fault, according to FWC.

Pepin Academies released the following statement regarding Butz’ death:

“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the unexpected and tragic loss of Pepin Academies’ Executive Director, Dr. Craig Butz. In my four years working with Dr. Butz, he advanced the mission of Pepin Academies tenfold. His wisdom and intelligence was matched by his passion and exuberance for the staff and students of our schools. He was a leader, a champion, and a friend. The pain of his loss, both professionally and personally, will be felt for an eternity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his young daughter who remains in critical condition. We ask that their privacy be respected during this sad and difficult time. Pepin Academies will have bereavement specialists at the school on Monday to help grieving students and staff cope with this tragic loss.”