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Teens 16 and 13 killed as jet-ski hits boat

Teens 16 and 13 killed as jet-ski hits boat

Two teenage girls died after their WaveRunner crashed into a boat at high speed on a lake in northeast Illinois.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported that a 16-year-old girl was driving the Yamaha WaveRunner with a 13-year-old girl as a passenger on Lake Marie on Tuesday evening. The WaveRunner was speeding near a channel to Grass Lake when it collided with a boat driven by a 55-year-old man.

Witnesses stated that the WaveRunner was heading directly toward the boat at high speed, resulting in a collision around 5:15 PM, according to ABC 7. Both teens were wearing life vests and were thrown into the water upon impact. The boat occupants immediately pulled them out of the water, found them unconscious, provided aid, and called 911.

The girls were rushed to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where they were pronounced dead on arrival. They were identified by the Lake County Coroner’s Office as Sarina Vootkur, 16, of Lake Forest, California, and Elle Kim, 13, of Long Grove, Illinois, according to WGN 9.

Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli told the TV station that the boat operator had no time to stop or maneuver around the approaching WaveRunner. He praised the boat occupants for their immediate actions to help the teens.

None of the four people aboard the boat, including the driver from Antioch, were injured. It remains unclear if the teen driver had passed a certified safety course before operating the WaveRunner.

The crash is under investigation by the sheriff’s office’s marine unit and Illinois Conservation Police.

Lake Marie is located about 60 miles northwest of Chicago, near the border with Wisconsin. The incident occurred nearly a year after a collision between two airboats on Cypress Lake in Florida injured 13 people.

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