Miami/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 15, 2024
Community Mourns as Teen Ballerina Killed in Hit-and-Run Boating Incident in Biscayne BaySource: Unsplash/ Mike Labrum

Tragedy struck Biscayne Bay over the weekend, as a 15-year-old girl was fatally hit by a boat while waterskiing near the Nixon Beach sandbar. Ella Adler, a freshman at Ransom Everglades High School and an aspiring ballerina, succumbed to her injuries after being struck by an unidentified vessel that reportedly fled the scene. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed to CBS News Miami that a boat of interest has been seized as part of the ongoing investigation.

The incident, which happened on Saturday afternoon, has left the community grieving for the loss of a life so young and so full of potential.  Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is actively working on the case, and per a statement issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto obtained by NBC Miami, the boat's owner is cooperating with the authorities. "I am pleased to report that we have a vessel in custody that matches the description given by witnesses, and the investigation is ongoing," Barreto said.

On Monday, a vast crowd attended Adler's funeral services at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach, indicating her impact on the community. The young dancer was remembered not only for her talent but for her infectious smile and the light she brought into the lives of those around her. Hundreds, perhaps stricken by the stark reminder of life's fragility, gathered in shared mourning and disbelief at the temple, some clad in the solemn attire that bespeaks the gravity of final farewells.

As the Miami City Ballet mourns alongside Adler's family and friends, they shared this sentiment in a statement, "We at Miami City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet School are utterly devastated by the heartbreaking news of this tragic accident." The statement further noted Adler's role in productions and her impact on the ballet community. A friend of the family, Robert Strauss, conveyed his bewilderment at the incident in an interview with CBS News Miami, "I don't know if he was drunk. I don't know if he was not paying attention. But you need to pay attention to the waters and open water, like you pay attention to the street."

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continues to make strides in solving this case, and urges anyone with information to step forward. The public can contribute any relevant details by calling the Wildlife Alert Hotline or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers. The search for answers persists, as a community gripped by sorrow seeks closure and justice for the untimely passing of Ella Adler.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies