Who Was Adrienne Vaughan? Harry Potter Publisher Killed in Horror Speedboat Crash in Front of Husband and Children While on Family Holiday

Vaughan was appointed as the US president of Bloomsbury publishing house in 2021, having joined the company a year earlier as an executive director and COO.

The president of Bloomsbury USA publishing house had died in a horror boating accident on the Amalfi coast. Adrienne Vaughan, 45, was with her husband Mike White, their 14-year-old daughter Leanna, and 11-year-old son Mason when their speedboat collided with a sailing ship carrying 85 people who were celebrating a wedding.

The incident also left her husband severely injured, while her two children were treated for shock. According to reports, Vaughn was thrown into the water during the collision and fatally struck by the boat's propellers. Mike also fell into the water and suffered serious injuries to his limbs. The boat's skipper was also seriously injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

Shocking Death

Adrienne Vaughan
Adrienne Vaughan with her husband Mike White and two children Leena and Mason Facebook

Witness Pietro Iuzzolino shared this account with the Corriere del Mezzogiorno newspaper saying that the impact of the collision was so massive that Vaughan was flung into the water and suffered fatal injuries after being struck by the boat's propellers.

"She had no arm and the back of her head was white, as if no blood was flowing," Iuzzolino told the newspaper.

The speedboat's captain, he continued, was "vomiting" and "gave the impression he was drunk." Additionally, according to Italian media outlets Ansa and Italy24, the 30-year-old driver failed toxicology tests after the accident.

Adrienne Vaughan
Adrienne Vaughan was the USA President of Bloomsbury Twitter

Vaughan had long dreamt of a trip to Italy and was fulfilling this dream with her family during a tour of Europe, as reported by local media.

The family, originally from New York, had rented a motorboat in Nerano and were en route to Positano. The accident occurred at around 6:30 pm in Fiordo di Furore, where their boat collided with a 130ft Tortuga ship carrying American and German tourists.

Vaughan had rented a 29-foot speedboat for a trip off the coast near Naples, Italy, accompanied by her family, Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported.

The exact cause of the collision between the speedboat and the 130-foot yacht, carrying around 85 tourists from America and Germany who were celebrating a wedding, remains unclear.

Shocking images captured the wedding guests in a state of shock as they looked over the edge of the cruiser after the crash. The impact flung Vaughan overboard and between the hulls of the two ships.

Adrienne Vaughan
Adrienne Vaughan Facebook

Vaughan suffered severe injuries after being struck by the propellers, and witness Pietro Iuzzolino recounted that she received support from her children and husband during the tragic incident.

Emergency services promptly responded to the scene, and Vaughan was transferred to a pier where first responders made every effort to save her life. An air ambulance was also dispatched, but unfortunately, by the time it arrived around 7 pm, she had already been pronounced dead.

Her body was taken to the morgue at Mercato San Severino hospital, as per reports.

Completely Unexpected

Vaughan's husband also suffered severe limb injuries, including a dislocated shoulder, after being thrown off the boat. He was immediately taken to Castiglione di Ravello hospital, where he underwent surgery on his left shoulder late Thursday evening, as reported by Il Mattino.

Adrienne Vaughan
The speedboat in which Adrienne Vaughan and her family was traveling after the crash Twitter

Fortunately, the children escaped physical harm but were understandably shocked by the accident. They have been taken to a tourist facility in Sant'Agata dei due Golfi, the place where the family had been staying during their vacation.

The boat's skipper was also injured and taken to the hospital, while the reason for failing the toxicology test remains unclear. On the other hand, the 55-year-old driver of the wedding ship was investigated but passed the toxicology test.

An investigation into the incident has been initiated by the Amalfi Port Authority.

The Vaughans had visited Rome just a few days prior to the accident, and they had shared pictures of their visit to iconic landmarks like the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. Notably, the opulent family had previously visited London three weeks ago.

Vaughan was appointed as the US president of Bloomsbury publishing house in 2021, having joined the company a year earlier as an executive director and COO.

Adrienne Vaughan
Adrienne Vaughan with her husband Twitter

During her tenure at Bloomsbury, she was actively involved in major projects, including those related to the famous Harry Potter series. Prior to her role at Bloomsbury, she worked with the Disney publishing group from 2015 to 2018.

A former colleague on LinkedIn described Vaughan as a "charismatic true leader," adding, "She was my coach and my mentor. I loved working with her every day. It was always ready to help others."

Vaughan obtained an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business before embarking on her successful publishing career. Her professional journey also included working with Oxford University Press.