A tragic accident unfolded on Friday when a mother unintentionally caused the death of her six-year-old daughter by running her over with a boat at an Arizona lake. The incident took place around 11 a.m. at Paul’s Hideaway, a popular spot on the northern part of Lake Pleasant, located approximately 40 miles north of Phoenix, as reported by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The boat, a wakeboard model, was carrying 12 passengers, evenly split between adults and children. Authorities stated that it appeared no one on board was aware that the young girl had entered the water. The mother, intending to pull her husband on a wakeboard, put the boat into drive, tragically colliding with her daughter who was swimming in front of the boat.
Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez, in a press briefing, explained that the girl was hit by the boat, run over, and sustained a severe propeller cut to her leg. The girl’s father, who was also in the water, noticed something amiss. Upon realizing their daughter was injured and had suffered a leg amputation from the boat’s propeller, both parents reacted swiftly.
The family faced additional challenges as they struggled to find cell reception to call 911 in the Paul’s Hideaway area, known for its poor service. However, fellow boaters in the vicinity came to their aid, helping to get the injured girl onto the boat and quickly to shore.
The young girl was rushed to a nearby hospital, but despite the best efforts of medical professionals, she was pronounced dead. The incident is still under investigation, but law enforcement currently views it as a tragic accident.
All passengers on the boat had been wearing life vests at the time of the incident. There were no indications of substance abuse, and all adults on board were deemed experienced boaters, according to Sgt. Enriquez. He suggested that the large number of people on the boat may have contributed to the incident, as it could have led to confusion about who was on the boat and who was not.