Authorities investigating Italy boat crash that killed New York-based publishing executive

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By Dan Sears

ByEyewitness News WABC logo

Monday, August 7, 2023 9:01AM

Authorities investigating Italy boat crash that killed New York-based publishing executive

POSITANO, Italy (WABC) — It was a picturesque vacation on the Amalfi Coast, but now Italian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the boat crash that killed Adrienne Vaughan.

The captain of a small motorboat is considered a suspect, facing a potential manslaughter charge for the collision with a large sailboat that wasn’t moving at the time.

The aftermath of the horrific collision was captured on video Thursday afternoon… The music stopped on a sailboat filled with wedding guests. as they looked over to see the small motorboat that crashed into it. The operator and passengers were injured.

A medical helicopter arrived to transport Adrienne Vaughan, 45, but she died at the scene.

The New York-based president of Bloomsbury Publishing’s American division was thrown overboard from the bow where she’d been sunbathing on the ride to Positano.

Her husband was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, and her two children… ages 14 and 11 survived. No one on the sailboat was hurt.

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An Italian prosecutor says the 30-year old Italian operator of the rented motorboat is also being treated for injuries and is now under investigation on suspicion of manslaughter.

Italian media reports say he failed sobriety tests.

Bloomsbury publishing issued a statement reading in part,

“Adrienne was a natural business leader with a great future ahead of her. She was deeply loved by colleagues due to her combination of great personal warmth with a fierce determination to make the business succeed and grow. Her business instincts were outstanding and she loved authors, readers and her colleagues equally.”

It is still unclear whether the boat operator’s positive tests for substances were for drugs or alcohol.

Vaughn was a graduate of NYU and lived with her family in Bergen County.

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