TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/NBC News Channel) — A Florida man who was one of three people who died at a luxury resort in the Bahamas over the weekend, was celebrating his anniversary when he died, according to reports.
Vincent Chiarella and his wife Donnis Chiarella were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary with their son Aaron at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort before his death. Public records showed the couple most recently lived in Panama City Beach, although they are originally from Alabama.
A photo obtained by the Daily Mail showed the Chiarellas enjoying their time on the island of Exuma days before the incident.
Kevin and Cara Rainbolt, who befriended the family while they were at the Sandals resort, said they were told Donnis Chiarella woke up paralyzed on Friday morning.
“Paralyzed is what was reported to us,” Kevin Rainbolt said. “Couldn’t move. Said her arms and legs were swollen and that she could see Vince laying on the floor.”
Donnis Chiarella was airlifted to a Miami hospital for treatment. Her husband and two other people who shared the split beachfront villa with them, died.
Health officials said the symptoms experienced by the Chiarellas and other victims at the resort’s villa could have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, according to NBC News.
On Sunday, police were examining the villa’s water heater, air conditioner, and propane supply for a water leak. An autopsy was also planned to determine what caused their deaths.
“My biggest concern was three people passed away within several hours of each other all in the same villa another one became very ill, so am I safe to go to sleep?” Cara Rainbolt said. “That was a big concern for me.”