Girl, 15, Killed in Boating Hit-and-Run

Ella Adler was celebrating a friend's birthday in Florida
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2024 3:00 AM CDT
Girl, 15, Killed in Boating Hit-and-Run
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / MaximFesenko)

It was supposed to be a fun day: Ella Adler was waterskiing to celebrate a friend's birthday Saturday afternoon not far from Miami, Florida, when the 15-year-old fell into the water while being towed. Another boat hit her and then sped away, and Ella ultimately died from her injuries, WSVN reports.

Police are still searching for the driver of the other boat, which is described as having a "light blue center console with possibly blue or dark blue bottom paint with three or four white outboard engines," per the state's Fish and Wildlife agency. It was last seen heading west from the Nixon Beach Sandbar, where the collision took place around 4:30pm, off Key Biscayne, NBC 6 reports. Rewards of up to $25,000 are being offered for information leading to the vessel and the boater involved."

Ella shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School," says her school in a statement. "She was an outstanding student, a wonderful dancer, and an active member of the Jewish Student Association and speech and debate team." Her funeral was held Monday, Local 10 reports.

story continues below

Maritime law experts say no dive flag is required in the water to alert other boaters that someone is waterskiing, but that as far as the responsibility for safety goes, "A lot of it falls on the driver of the [waterskiing] vessel ... to keep an accurate lookout," a lawyer says. "You are generally required to have someone on the backend keeping (an) eye on the water-skier themselves." He adds that he does not believe someone could have struck Ella without realizing the collision happened, due to the force of the impact. (More Florida stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.