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Plant City woman critically injured by jumping fish

5:38 AM, Jun 22, 2011   |    comments
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April Miller

Plant City, Florida - An estimated four foot long sturgeon is to blame for seriously injuring a woman on her family's boat in North Central Florida over the weekend.

April Miller was on the boat traveling along the Suwannee River near the Santa Fe River Friday when witnesses say the fish jumped from the water hitting Miller in the face and upper body.

Miller was rushed to Shands Hospital in Gainesville suffering from a broken jaw, and injuries to her face, chest, thighs and knee.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says after getting no reports of sturgeon hitting humans in 2010, this year they already have 11 reports including three from this past weekend. Eight of the strikes resulted in people being injured.

Miller says after the fish hit her, she doesn't remember much about Friday.

"I didn't know what happened. My first thought was a car hit me. My last memory was dry land, I didn't remember being on a boat," said Miller who now faces facial reconstruction surgery. "It's almost like something out of a science fiction horror story. They're all bone."

Scientists are trying to determine whether low water levels in some Florida rivers like the Suwannee might be causing the sturgeon to jump out of the water more frequently.

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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