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Coppola's Son Killed, O'Neal's Injured

May 27, 1986|United Press International

EDGEWATER, Md. — The son of movie director Francis Ford Coppola was killed, and actor Ryan O'Neal's son was injured when their motorboat ran under another boat's towline, officials said today.

Gian Carlo Coppola, 23, of Apple Valley, Calif., suffered massive head injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival at Anne Arundel County General Hospital at 6:20 p.m. Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The Memorial Day accident occurred on the South River, off the shores of Edgewater, a tourist town with numerous marinas.

Police said the only other person aboard the boat was Griffin Patrick O'Neal, 23, son of Ryan O'Neal. Griffin O'Neal suffered a minor shoulder injury but refused treatment, police said.

The two young men were visiting the area because Coppola's father has been shooting a movie, "Gardens of Stone," at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington.

O'Neal had been arrested in nearby Rosslyn, Va., a Washington suburb, early Friday and charged with reckless driving, driving without a license and carrying a concealed weapon--a 6- to 8-inch ballistic knife, police spokesman Ken Rosenberg said.

O'Neal's relationship with his father made the news in May, 1983, when they got into a fight and Ryan knocked out two of Griffin's teeth. The younger O'Neal called police to their Bel-Air, Calif., home but he later refused to press charges.

Griffin O'Neal also spent a year in a drug-and-delinquency rehabilitation center in Hawaii.

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