16-year-old Lake Forest girl among 2 teens killed in crash involving WaveRunner and boat in Illinois

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team, John Garcia, and David González WLS logo
Thursday, June 20, 2024
OC girl among 2 teens killed in WaveRunner crash on lake in Illinois
Two teen girls, including one from Orange County, were killed in a crash between a boat and a WaveRunner in Illinois.

ANTIOCH, Ill. -- Two teenage girls, including one from Orange County, were killed after a boat and WaveRunner crash on a lake in northeast Illinois Tuesday evening,

The crash occurred on Lake Marie, which is part of the Chain O'Lakes.

The Lake County Sheriff's Marine Unit and Patrol Division responded to the crash near the village of Antioch at about 5:15 p.m.

Investigators said a 16-year-old girl from Lake Forest was driving a Yamaha WaveRunner and a 13-year-old girl from Long Grove, Illinois was her passenger.

The WaveRunner was traveling near the channel to Grass Lake when a boat operated by a 55-year-old Antioch man approached the same area, the sheriff's office said.

Witnesses told police the WaveRunner was traveling at a high rate of speed directly at the boat, leading to a collision.

Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said the jet ski was traveling at a high rate of speed directly toward the boat when they collided.

The girls on the WaveRunner, who were wearing life vests, were knocked unconscious and thrown into the water, the sheriff's office said.

The occupants of the boat immediately pulled the girls from the water, rendered aid and called 911.

Both girls were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where they were both pronounced dead after arrival. The identities of the girls have not been released.

The four people on the boat were shaken up but not hurt.

Covelli said they didn't have time to react.

"The operator, there was nothing he could do to stop the boat in time or maneuver around the WaveRunner as it approached. They immediately jumped into action and did everything they could to help those two teens," he said.

No other injuries were reported from the crash.

Covelli said a crash like this one is rare, but it's crucial people operating watercrafts know the rules of who has the right-of-way when approaching or passing other vessels.

In Illinois, the 16-year-old would have been required to pass a certified safety course before operating the WaveRunner.

Right now, it is unknown if she had done that before the crash.

The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit and Illinois Conservation Police.