Florida couple Jim Melillo and Susan Borges killed on Mexican cruise as dune buggy crashes into metal guardrail
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A Florida couple was tragically killed in a freak dune buggy accident while on a cruise vacation to Mexico.
Jim Melillo and Susan Borges were taking some shore leave from their Royal Caribbean cruise, exploring the island of Cozumel in Mexico, when their dune buggy slammed into a metal guardrail, killing both of them almost instantly.
Two other passengers, Wagner Ferreira, the driver and their friend, and his wife, Liz, suffered minor injuries. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ferreira lost control of the vehicle, though it was not immediately clear what caused him to do so.
Melillo and Borges were passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean ship 'Liberty of the Seas.' At the time of the accident, the four-day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was docked in the popular tourist city of Cozumel, Mexico.
At that time, the couple decided to rent a dune buggies as a part of a shore excursion with more than two dozen of their friends. The group would explore the island as part of the six-hour tour.
According to the Sentinel, the group members noticed the poor safety conditions of many of the buggies, many of which didn't even have seat belts.
The cruise company noted that the trip was booked by a private company and was not sponsored by the company. Still, they expressed their deep condolences to the victims and their families.
'Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to guests’ family and friends,' they said in the statement. 'Our thoughts are with their family and friends, and we will continue to do our very best to assist them.'
Horrific: The couple was killed almost instantly when the dune buggy they were in slammed into a metal bar.
In Love: Melillo and Borges had been dating for some time and frequently went on cruise vacations.
While Ferreira was initially held in jail by authorities as part of the investigation, he was later released and has since returned to Florida. No criminal charges were pressed.
Already friends and family have come together to pay tribute to the couple.
They have created Facebook pages remembering the two and have even set up fundraisers and events to help cover the cost of transporting and cremating their bodies, with many saying that Melillo and Borges would have done nothing less for them.