A boating accident resulted in the wrongful death of a teenaged girl from Australia. Morgan Montgomery, 19, was water skiing on Alum Creek Reservoir on Sunday afternoon when she fell from her skis and was hit by a power boat.
The boat that struck the young woman was a high-speed boat that may have been racing several other speedboats. The boat operator was reported to be a member of a local boat club. The boater, whose name has not been released by officials, reportedly stated “Man, I didn’t see her. I didn’t know I hit her.”
A friend of the boater who hit the Australian teen said the girl’s life vest “was shredded in pieces.” A friend of the victim called 911 saying “We were water-skiing. Someone ran over my friend. She’s dead. She’s still in the water. He was speeding and he ran her over.”
Divers, boats with sonar and cadaver dogs searched the area for the young woman’s body on Sunday and Monday before finally recovered her body on Monday evening.
Andy Hollenback, regional manager for Ohio’s Division of Watercraft, said there are no speed limits or signs warning of people in the water in the area where the accident occurred. The open area of Alum Creek reservoir permits boating, water-skiing and jet skis.
Every year, boating accidents in Ohio result in wrongful death and injuries. Most boating accidents are the result of operator error – operator inattention, operator inexperience, excessive speed, improper look out and alcohol impairment are the leading contributing factors in boating accidents.