A Maryland man fell into a coma from a severe head injury last month after falling from a golf cart on the luxury Ocean Reef in North Key Largo.
Daniel Redfield, 38, was seriously injured and had part of his skull removed. If he’s alive, his family says it’s likely he’ll spend the rest of his days with his dependents. He is currently in a hospital near his hometown of Baltimore.
His family, including his father, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Trump administration’s CDC, are searching for answers about what happened on the evening of Jan. 20.
So far, little has been made public other than a preliminary incident report by the Keyes Sheriff’s Office. The investigation was turned over to the Florida Highway Patrol after a deputy briefly interviewed two men in the cart, including the driver, said Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsey.
Lt. Kathleen McKinney, the FHP’s Florida Keys subdistrict commander, said Wednesday she was looking into “what kind of report we did.”
By the time Keyes’ lieutenant arrived around 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, Redfield had already been airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center in Kendall, and Ocean Reef’s Public Security Officers had been dispatched by their driver, John Avillett ( 40 years old) was allowed to return to the hospital. His room at the resort, reports said.
The deputy said he and another person were on another call, which delayed their arrival at Ocean Reef.
Avilette eventually returned to make a statement, Deputy Robert Dosh wrote in his report. When he did so, the lieutenant said he could “smell a suspicious alcoholic smell” from Abilet’s breath.
Another man in the cart, Mark Bunting, 54, told Dosh that all three had been fishing and drinking all day. He was sitting in the passenger seat next to him, but he crouched down and fell. Ocean Reef visitors often drive their golf carts to and from the resort grounds even when they’re not playing a round.
Avillett’s statement to the sheriff’s office “indicated that Mr. Redfield may have jumped out of the golf cart,” Dosh wrote.
Avilette left before the deputy arrived, so it would be difficult to conclude that he was drinking at the time of the accident, Ramsay said.
“Yes, having the driver leave the scene hinders a DUI investigation,” Ramsay said.
Ocean Reef Security did not immediately respond to an emailed request for a report on the incident. Neither Avirett nor Bunting returned requests for comment.
Robert Redfield III told the Miami Herald that the family is frustrated because few details about that night have been released by authorities, Ocean Reef, or the men with his brother. Redfield, a physician and director of surgery for the Living Kidney Donor Program at the University of Pennsylvania, said he and his father, Daniel, who is also a physician and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suffered injuries from golf. It is said that it is questioned that it is due to the fall of the cart.
He released the following statement to the Miami Herald:
“Our family is heartbroken. We are praying for a miracle, but my brother Dan may never recover from his injuries. We just want answers as to what happened.” still does not believe that the people involved, especially the driver, left the scene. My brother had surgery to remove half of his skull and suffered extensive brain damage.Given the summary of events we provided, I can’t imagine a scenario where his injury could be this serious. I hope the resorts get closer and law enforcement want more answers Dan is not just my brother he is a son, a father and a husband Yes, and friends to many, our family deserves an answer.”
Both Avirett and Bunting are prominent members of the Baltimore/Washington, DC business community. Banting is the chief financial officer of Alpine Food Service Solutions, which provides food to college campuses and hospitals, according to a biography published on the website of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I am serving He also sits on several other boards.
Avirett is a partner of StepStone Group, a multi-billion dollar private equity firm. The firm acquired Greenspring Associates, the venture capital firm of which Avirett was general partner, last year. Daniel Redfield’s wife was also a partner at Stepstone and chief financial officer of Greenspring Associates, although he was not on the trip, according to his brother Robert Redfield III. .
Daniel Redfield worked several jobs in Capitol Hill and Baltimore before retiring to raise his children, his brother said.
A home in north Key Largo and a hangout for dignitaries, celebrities and the wealthy, Ocean Reef is notoriously meticulous when it comes to what information leaks behind its gates. Especially in the Florida Keys, they are known for their generosity to local charities, but many don’t even want to share their philanthropic efforts.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.