Teen killed in tragic hit-and-run Boating Accident Teen killed in tragic hit-and-run Boating Accident
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Teen killed in tragic hit-and-run Boating Accident

Ella Adler, boating accident, sandbar, Nixon Sand Bar, Key Biscayne, No Name Harbor, GOLDLAW, FWC,

A devastating hit-and-run boating accident in Biscayne Bay on Saturday, May 11, recently claimed the life of a 15-year-old girl. As a community grieves this unimaginable loss, many questions are being asked about what happened and what comes next. In the wake of such a tragedy, it’s important to understand that the victim’s family may have legal options available to them.

Details about incident still unclear

According to law enforcement officials, the boating accident happened at approximately 4:30pm at Nixon Sand Bar off Key Biscayne. The victim, who had been wakeboarding, was not actively participating at the time, but was being towed when she fell into the water. According to reports, she was “in the water with the board attached to her feet and wearing a life jacket.” She was apparently struck by the still unidentified boat moments later.

An official from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) described the boat as a light blue center console with a blue or dark blue bottom, and possibly three or four white outboard engines. It was last spotted heading west from Nixon Beach. A witness to the incident, who was docking his boat nearby said that five police boats, a fire-rescue team, the FWC, and the Coast Guard all rushed to the accident scene near No Name Harbor.

Nixon Beach has been the site of other boating accidents that resulted in injury or death

Since 2013, there have been at least five boating accident incidences resulting in injury or death near Nixon Sand Bar. Among the most tragic:

  • July 4, 2014

    • At approximately 10:35pm, a 32-foot powerboat heading towards Dinner Key slams into a 36-footer carrying a family of eight, then hits a third vessel.

    • Four people were killed, and three were critically injured.

    • At the time, it was the deadliest boating tragedy in local history.

  • DJ Laz Accident – May 4, 2014

    • Lazaro Mendez, a popular local DJ, started promoting what would be a huge party, at Nixon Sand Bar, hosted by Voli Vodka, a brand made famous by Laz’s friend, the rapper Pitbull.

    • Despite the participating of more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, including Key Biscayne Police, Golden Beach Marine Patrol, and the U.S. Coast Guard, crowds were overwhelming.

    • The boat helmed by Mendez became stuck in the sandbar.

    • 23-year-old Ernesto Hernandez tried to help by pushing the boat.

    • Mendez “gunned” the engine, sucking Hernandez into the boat’s propeller.

    • He suffered severe injuries and later died.

BREAKING NEWS: Boat matching description of the one that struck victim “in custody”

On Tuesday, May 14, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said that a boat matching the description of the one that killed a 15-year-old girl on Saturday had been located.

“I am please to reports that we have a vessel in custody that matches the description given by witnesses, and the investigation is ongoing,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “The FWC and out partner law enforcement agencies will not stop until we have all the answers, and the case is solved.”

Aerial footage from a local news agency showed the boat docked behind a house in the Hammock Oaks neighborhood in southwest Miami-Dade Tuesday., It was later towed from the house and brought to the FWC’s offices. The owner’s identity has not been released, and it is unknown if the owner was driving the boat during the incident. While significant progress has been made, the investigation of the incident remains active and ongoing. The FWC is asking anyone who witnessed the crash or may have video footage or other information to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or Miami-
Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

GOLDLAW is here to help those injured in Boating Accidents

Boat accidents are common throughout South Florida. Unfortunately, boat accident victims and their families often struggle to recover compensation, even if the negligence of another individual or entity was responsible for the incident. At GOLDLAW, our expert boat accident lawyers are here to help. We understand the challenges injury victims face when going up against insurance carriers and other parties, and we have the resources to help get victims and their families the justice they deserve!

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