Girl killed in hit-and-run water skiing accident was 15-year-old student

Water skiing

MIAMI — A South Florida girl struck and killed by a boat while water skiing on Saturday has been identified, her family and school confirmed.

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Ella Riley Adler, 15, was a freshman at Ransom Everglades High School in Miami, the Miami Herald reported.

According to her obituary, Adler was a member of the dance team at her high school and had performed in a school play as a dancer several weeks ago.

She was described as a teen who “emanated love and joy.” She played a ballerina in “The Nutcracker,” appearing in more than 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet at the Adrienne Arsht Center, according to her obituary.

“Our hearts are broken and our community has been devastated by this tragedy,” Ransom Everglades Head of School Rachel Rodriguez said in a statement obtained by WTVJ. “Ella shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. She was an outstanding student, a wonderful dancer and an active member of the Jewish Student Association and speech and debate team. 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. In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to lean into our core values and provide support and care to the many students and members of our professional community who are grieving.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Adler was water skiing near Nixon Beach on Key Biscayne at about 4:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday when she fell into the water and a boater struck her. The boater left the scene, the Herald reported.

The boat has a light blue center console, possibly with blue or dark blue bottom paint, and three or four white outboard engines, according to the newspaper.

A funeral service was held Monday at Temple Beth Shalom in Miami for Adler, WTVJ reported. She was the great-granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor and granddaughter to a U.S. ambassador to Belgium, according to WSVN-TV.

On Monday, police and officials visited marinas in the Miami area attempting to locate the boat involved, according to the television station.

“It’s kind of evil, I mean, how can you not have a conscience to want to help the girl that you just hit with your boat,” Myles Gilber, a student at Ransom Everglades, told WSVN.

Authorities said there is a total reward of up to $20,000 for information about the boater and vessel involved in the crash, including $5,000 from Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers.

An investigation is ongoing.

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