The boat operator involved in a Presidents Day accident that ended with the deaths of two Middleburg High School students, including his son, has been cited with reckless operation.
Ted Hanner, 49, was operating the 1985 Baja bass boat on Black Creek near the Knight’s Boat Ramp and Marina facility when he left the controls to pump the fuel bulb, a piece of equipment that helps get fuel to the motor, said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She said the boat was running kind of ragged and Hanner was trying to get more fuel to the motor. The boat veered to the north bank and crashed into a tree 3 feet off the water, according to commission at the time.
Hanner’s son, Travis Hanner, 17, and the teen’s girlfriend Halee Mickey, 15, were sitting in the bow of the 18-foot, 4-inch boat at the time. The teens died at the scene from severe blunt force trauma, the commission reported at the time. Ted Hanner was treated at Shands Jacksonville hospital and later released. Alcohol was not a factor, and the boat was traveling about 20 mph, Parker said. Reckless operation of a boat is a first-degree misdemeanor.