Husband of Elk Grove Village woman killed in Florida Keys parasailing incident speaks out

ByMark Rivera and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Husband of suburban woman killed while parasailing speaks out
The husband of Elk Grove Village woman Supraja Alaparthi is speaking out for the first time about her death while parasailing in the Florida Keys.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The husband of a suburban woman killed while parasailing in the Florida Keys last year is speaking out about the incident for the first time, and filing a second lawsuit.

It was supposed to be a fun family trip to the Florida Keys, and quickly turned into a tragedy.

Thursday morning, the widower of the woman killed in a parasailing incident spoke for the first time about it as the family files a new lawsuit in her death, naming the boat captain, his first mate and a resort marina in the Keys.

"If the people we trusted from the parasailing company and Captain Pip's Marina had done their jobs, my wife would still be with us today," Srinivasrao Alaparthi said.

Supraja Alaparthi, 33, her 10-year-old son and 7-year-old nephew were in a harness, in the air when court documents say the parasail began "pegging," meaning the parasail turned into the high winds and dragged the boat.

Family of mother killed in Florida parasailing accident files lawsuit

Dark clouds moved in, and the family's attorney's said the boat captain took them out in bad weather, then cut the line tethering Alaparthi and the children to the boat.

"The defendants in this case never checked the weather, and they never stopped the boat from leaving the dock that day, despite laws clearly prohibiting parasailing activities when weather like this in the area," said Pedro Echarte, with The Haggard Law Firm. "He did the one thing that you never do in this case. He cut the tow line, and, at that point in time, he lost all control of that parasail."

That's when they slammed into a bridge. Supraja was killed, and the children were injured.

The husband of an Elk Grove Village woman killed in a parasailing incident in Florida speaks on the filing of a new lawsuit.

Her husband, speaking publicly for the first time, described to "Good Morning America" what he felt as it all happened.

"I didn't observe what exactly he's doing, when exactly he cut the rope," he said. "It all came off like fragmented and like that situations were crazy but obviously, whatever he was doing, it was concerning for all of us."

He said he had to speak out to keep other families from suffering the same fate.

"She was an incredible person, full of life and love," Alaparthi said of his late wife. "Losing her has been incredibly hard on all of us."

Alaparthi's lawyers said his wife died of blunt force trauma and drowning. Her son and nephew were injured and may have died had it not been for what the widower said were the heroic actions of a charter fisherman, John Callion.

"I thought the parachute hit the bridge, and the people were just going to be dangling when I got there, but actually it was a much worse situation," Callion said.

Twelve family members were on the boat, including her husband and daughter, and watched what happened and felt helpless.

"My son and nephew are getting better physically, and are still working through the emotional trauma," Alaparthi said. "John, we will be forever grateful for your courage in assistance."

The captain was charged with one count of manslaughter and five counts of violating commercial parasailing statutes.

According to the charges, weather and wind speed are a "key contributing factor" in this incident.

Alaparthi and his lawyers said they hope this lawsuit will incentivize mandatory training for parasailing captains for a set amount of hours and emergency training so a tragedy like this never happens again.

The captain, first mate and marina named in the suit could not be immediately reached for comment.