FWC: Man dies when racing boat runs aground, hits tree on Christmas Day

No other injuries reported

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A man operating a racing boat on Christmas Day died when the vessel went aground and struck a tree, ejecting him in the process, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Agents said 39-year-old John Erle Gebhardt was operating a 19-foot boat on the St. Johns River near Lake Harney shortly before noon Wednesday when he turned toward the western shore for an unknown reason, went aground and struck a tree.

Gebhardt was ejected from the boat, hit a tree and landed in the water, according to the crash report. He died at the scene of the crash.

No one else was injured.