Skip to content
Home » Bloomsbury USA President Adrienne Vaughan, 45, Is Killed In Front Of Her Husband And Two Kids When Their ‘drunk’ Speedboat Skipper Smashed Into Wedding Party Sailing Yacht On Amalfi Coast

Bloomsbury USA President Adrienne Vaughan, 45, Is Killed In Front Of Her Husband And Two Kids When Their ‘drunk’ Speedboat Skipper Smashed Into Wedding Party Sailing Yacht On Amalfi Coast

The president of publishing house Bloomsbury USA has tragically died in a horror boating accident on the Amalfi coast which also saw her husband injured and her two children treated for shock.

Shocking footage captured the moment a speedboat carrying Adrienne Vaughan, 45, and her family crashed into a 130-foot sailing ship, upon which 85 people were celebrating a wedding. 

The wedding party was seen dancing and enjoying the picturesque scenery just moments before the music fell silent as the vessel slammed into the side, sending guests hurrying to the edge as they flung inflatables at the family. 

Ms Vaughan was thrown into the water and fatally struck by the boat’s propellers, with witness Pietro Iuzzolino telling Corriere del Mezzogiorno newspaper: ‘She had no arm and the back of her head was white, as if no blood was flowing.’ 

He added that the skipper of the speedboat was ‘vomiting’ and ‘gave the impression he was drunk.’ The 30-year-old driver also failed toxicology tests after the tragedy, according to Italian outlets Ansa and Italy24.  

Vaughan had been dreaming of a trip to Italy for some time and was with her her husband Mike White, daughter Leanna, 14, and son Mason, 11. 

Adrienne Vaughan (left), 45, her husband Mike White, daughter Leanna, 14, and son Mason, 11, pose at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. The family were enjoying a summer tour of Europe 

A witness said the skipper of the speedboat appeared ‘drunk’ after it crashed into the yacht 

Shocking images showed the wedding party looking over the ship’s edge after the crash, which was carrying around 85 people 

The family, from New York, had chartered a motorboat in Nerano and yesterday were travelling towards Positano. At about 6.30pm in Fiordo di Furore they crashed into a 130ft Tortuga ship. 

Vaughan had rented the 29-foot speedboat with her family for a trip off the coast, near the Italian city of Naples, according to Agenzia Giornalistica Italia.  

It is unclear what caused the speedboat to collide with the large sailing yacht, which was filled with around 85 tourists from America and Germany who were celebrating a wedding.

Shocking images showed the wedding guests looking panicked over the cruiser’s edge after the crash, which flung Vaughan overboard and between the two ship hulls.

She suffered horrific injuries as she was struck by the propellers, and Iuzzolino said she was ‘supported by her children and husband’. 

Vaughan’s husband Mike White was also injured in the crash, and their two children were treated for shock

The family’s speedboat collided with a large ship upon which around 85 people were celebrating 

The wedding ship that the speedboat struck was reportedly filled with tourists from America and Germany

Emergency services rushed to the scene after the collision, and Vaughan was taken to a pier where first responders tried desperately to save her life in an ambulance. 

When her condition deteriorated, an air ambulance was also called to the area, but by the time it arrived at around 7pm she was declared dead. 

Her body was reportedly taken to the morgue at the Mercato San Severino hospital. 

Vaughan’s husband was also thrown off the boat and suffered serious limb injuries, including a dislocated shoulder. 

He was rushed to hospital in Castiglione di Ravello, and underwent surgery on his left shoulder late Thursday evening, according to Il Mattino. 

The skipper of the boat was also injured and taken to hospital, and it is unclear what he failed the toxicology test for. The 55-year-old driver of the wedding ship was also investigated but passed a toxicology test. 

The family were travelling to the picturesque cliffside town of Positano on the Amalfi coast when the tragic accident happened. The family were in Rome just days ago

Vaughan graduated with an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business before her lucrative publishing career 

The Vaughan’s million-dollar family home, in a sleepy New Jersey neighborhood

The children were unharmed in the accident but suffered from shock, and have reportedly been taken to a tourist facility in Sant’Agata dei due Golfi, where the family had been staying on their vacation. 

Members of the wedding party were taken to shore for questioning about the incident, and an investigation has been launched by the Amalfi Port Authority. 

Just days ago the family had visited Rome and shared pictures of them in front of the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum, and they had shared gleeful pictures from their dream holiday. 

The  family had previously visited London three weeks ago, and were said to have ‘dreamt’ of their European trip. 

Pictured is the air ambulance at the scene where the two boats collided in a fatal accident

Pictured is a coastguard speedboat at the scene

Pictured is the port where the tragedy occurred. Two ambulances attended the scene 

The publishing executive was described as a ‘charismatic true leader’

Vaughan was named the US president of the Bloomsbury publishing house in 2021, and had joined the company a year before as an executive director and COO.

She was involved in major projects involving titles such as the Harry Potter series. From 2015 to 2018 she had worked for the Disney publishing group.

She was described as ‘charismatic true leader’, by a former colleague on LinkedIn, who added: ‘She was my coach and my mentor. I loved working with her every day. It was always ready to help others.’ 

Vaughan graduated with an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business before her publishing career, which also saw her work for Oxford University Press. has contacted Bloomsbury for comment.