Footage shows the moment helpless tourists watched on in horror as the publishing boss of Harry Potter died in a boat collision off Italy’s Amalfi coast.
Adrienne Vaughan, 45, President of Bloomsbury USA, was fatally struck by a propeller after being thrown from a speedboat carrying her family, The Sun reports.
Adrienne, 45, her husband Mike and children, Leanna, 14, and Mason, 11, had chartered a boat to tour some of Italy’s southern coast on Thursday.
At around 6.30pm, their seven metre pleasure boat collided with a 45 metre Tortuga ship filled with 85 people celebrating a wedding.
The shocking video shows the cheerful sun-soaked celebrations for the bride and groom following their boat ceremony.
Suddenly, the boat rocks and screams can be heard.
The wedding guests stop dancing and put down their drinks to rush to the side of the boat.
“What happened?” someone asks as people yell and run past the wedding altar in the background.
“A ship collided with us,” a shaken man shouts back.
The footage then reveals the horrified looks of the holiday-makers as they witness the immediate aftermath of the fatal incident.
Later scenes show the hull of the New York family’s broken pleasure boat jammed next to the far larger tourist boat.
Helicopters and ambulances immediately responded but Adrienne was declared dead.
Her husband was also thrown from the boat and reportedly suffered serious limb injuries, including a dislocated shoulder and lacerated wounds.
The children are said to be uninjured but suffering from shock.
Their boat’s skipper, 30, suffered from fractured ribs and was taken to hospital.
Witness Pietro Luzzolino, who was working as a barman at the wedding, alleged that the skipper appeared “drunk”.
He told Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno: “The driver was vomiting, we got the impression that he was drunk. The investigators will ascertain it.”
Following the tragic collision, sources claim that the skipper tested positive in a toxicology test, according to Italian outlets Ansa and Italy24.
The investigation is ongoing and both boats involved in the collision have been seized by police.
The mayor of Massa Lubrense, Lorenzo Balducelli, said the “whole community is shocked”.
“The misfortune that occurred in the waters of the Amalfi Coast affects us all and leaves us dismayed.”
In reference to the skipper at the helm of their boat, he stated that he doesn’t “know him personally” and will leave it up the judiciary to establish his responsibility in the crash.
“Instead, I want to express all my closeness and that of the city to the victim’s husband and two children, Adrienne Vaughan, an American tourist who had chosen our area for this holiday period together with his family”.
Adrienne was made US president of Bloomsbury publishing house in 2021.
She had previously been involved with famous projects including the Harry Potter series.
A former colleague described her as a “charismatic true chief”.
They wrote on LinkedIn: “She was my coach and my mentor. I cherished working along with her on daily basis. It was at all times prepared to assist others.”
Only two days before the tragedy, the family had visited Rome and taken pictures in front of iconic landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum.
This story was published by The Sun and was reproduced with permission