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Boat sought in hit-and-run that killed teen waterskiing in Miami area

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(MIAMI) — Authorities in Florida are seeking a boat involved in a fatal hit-and-run that killed a teenager waterskiing in the Miami area over the weekend.


The victim was waterskiing near Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne Saturday afternoon when the incident occurred, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is investigating.

The girl — 15-year-old Ella Adler of Miami Beach — had fallen in the water while being towed when another vessel struck her, the FWC said based on preliminary information. She died from her injuries.

The FWC is urging witnesses or anyone with information or footage to come forward.

“FWC officers are making significant progress in this investigation; however, the public’s assistance is still needed,” the FWC said in a statement on Monday.

The vessel being sought in connection with the incident was described as a center console boat with a light blue hull, possibly blue or dark blue bottom paint and multiple white outboard engines, FWC said.

“Mid-afternoon Saturday, and there was a lot of boaters expected to be out,” Officer George Reynaud, a spokesperson for FWC, told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG. “We’re hoping that somebody saw something or even saw a vessel that fits that description, was in that area and would come forward with some information.”

The boat was last seen heading westbound from Nixon Beach around 4:30 p.m. ET, FWC said.

Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for tips in the hit-and-run case.

The victim was a student at Ransom Everglades School, a college prep day school in the Miami area. The school described her as an “outstanding student, a wonderful dancer and an active member of the Jewish Student Association and speech and debate team.”

“Our hearts are broken and our community has been devastated by this tragedy,” the school said in a statement. “Ella shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and our prayers are with all who are mourning her loss. In this time of unspeakable pain, we have been moved by the outpouring of kindness and compassion from the Ransom Everglades community,” the statement continued.

Ella was a ballerina who appeared in more than 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet, according to her obituary, which called her a “star” and “force of nature.”

“In her 15 years on this earth, she dazzled us with her light. She emanated love and joy. She was beautiful. When she walked into a room, everyone was drawn to her. She loved to dance, she loved her friends, and most of all she loved her family” — her parents and two younger siblings, her obituary said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called Ella a “bright young soul.”

“My deepest condolences to the Adler family,” the mayor said on X on Monday. “Let’s honor her memory by exercising better boat safety, to ensure tragedies like this never happen again. May she rest in peace.”
 

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