Autopsy: Cuban migrant died of head trauma
MIAMI – A woman who died while attempting to reach the Florida Keys in a speedboat crowded with Cuban migrants sustained fatal head injuries, according to preliminary autopsy results released Sunday.Amay Machado Gonzalez died and four others were injured Saturday when their boat, which held 31 migrants, ignored orders to stop and attempted to ram a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, authorities said. Coast Guard crew fired two shots into the vessel’s engine to disable it.”She has blunt force head trauma. I think it’s consistent with her striking the boat,” Monroe County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Hunter said.The one-page report said Gonzalez also sustained blunt injuries to her arms, legs and back. Authorities said she was crammed into the small boat and jostled in the rough seas.”There was no way for these people to brace themselves against the impact of the boat slamming into the rough seas,” Coast Guard Capt. Phil Heyl said in a statement.The Coast Guard intercepted the boat around 6:30 a.m. about 4 miles south of Boca Chica, Coast Guard officials said. Gonzalez was pronounced dead as she was being transported to a hospital.A pregnant woman onboard the vessel was transported to a hospital and released to federal custody Sunday, said Ivan Ortiz, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Three men sustained minor injuries.All the migrants are in federal custody, Ortiz said. Among them are three suspected smugglers, though they were not immediately charged.Concerned relatives of the migrants met with Cuban activists Sunday to discuss legal action.”There is a human being dead. Shooting at a vessel loaded with civilians is not a practice that should be done by a democratic country,” said Ramon Saul Sanchez, head of the Democracy Movement. “The high seas can’t be deemed as the wild west where shootouts happen.”
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