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Orange woman dies in airboat rollover

An Orange woman is dead and her husband injured after an airboat accident on Friday.

The deceased is identified as Vittoria Hughes, 59. Her husband, Joe Hughes, suffered minor injuries, Pct. 7 Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett said.

An autopsy is scheduled.

“They were on the Orange County side of the Neches River in the marsh,” Burnett said. “Approximately 200 to 300 yards from the river.”

The airboat rolled several times injuring both the husband and the wife at around 6 p.m. Vittoria Hughes suffered multiple injuries including head injuries.

The victim was transported from the marsh to another boat to the docks at Port Neches Riverfront Park. From there she was taken by ambulance to The Medical Center of Southeast Texas, he said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit as well as Port Neches police and fire departments responded. The fire department used their airboat in the response.

During the initial emergency response EMS workers were heard, via police scanner, calling for a medical helicopter and a landing site was set up in the parking lot of the docks.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is investigating the accident.