6-year-old girl dies after being hit by boat propeller at lake, authorities say

Deputies say family members were unaware the 6-year-old girl was still in the water when the boat hit her Friday morning. (Source: KPHO)
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 9:45 PM EDT
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PEORIA, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) - Authorities in Arizona say a young girl has died after she was hit by a boat propeller at Lake Pleasant Friday morning.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said first responders were called to the lake regarding a boat accident at about 11 a.m.

KPHO reports that a 6-year-old girl was pulled from the lake with a severe leg injury. She was rushed to a hospital but did not survive.

According to Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez, two families had arrived at the lake around 7 a.m. for swimming and wakeboarding. All 12 people, reported to be six adults and six children, were on the same boat.

Investigators said the child was injured when no one realized she was still in the water and her mother started to accelerate to pull another family member who was wakeboarding.

The young girl was then run over by the boat.

Because of poor cellphone service in that part of the lake, the family couldn’t reach emergency services.

Other boaters in the area helped get the child out of the water and brought her to the Pleasant Harbor Marina where fire crews were waiting.

Deputies don’t believe impairment was a factor in the accident.

Detectives are investigating and processing evidence, but Enriquez said the girl’s death is being treated as a tragic accident.

Authorities said there appeared to be no safety violations on the boat, which was equipped with proper life jackets, a fire extinguisher and other gear.

Enriquez also said the owners are experienced boat operators who live near the lake.

The families involved were not immediately identified.