UPDATE: Boater Who Fatally Struck Teen Has Been Identified

Teen Killed by Hit-and-Run Boater While Waterskiing Near Key Biscayne

NBC reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has identified the hit-and-run boater who fatally struck a 15-year-old girl in Biscayne Bay this past weekend. Carlos Guillermo Alonso of Coral Gables was, apparently, the only person on the vessel at the time.

Per NBC News,  the Commission’s “one-page report lists Alonso as the only occupant of the boat. It doesn’t mention whether he could face charges, and it’s unclear whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, since the section of the report that mentions whether it’s alcohol related is marked ‘unknown.’”

Teen killed by hit-and-run boater while waterskiing near Key Biscayne

The boater who fatally struck a teen girl while she was waterskiing near Key Biscayne this past Saturday may have been found. We have heard news reports that the owner of the vessel may be cooperating with authorities. Ella Adler, the 15-ear-old victim, was near the Nixon Beach sandbar with friends when she was run down – and the boater did not stop.

Per CBS News, an official said, “The striking vessel is described as a light blue center console; possibly with blue or dark blue bottom paint and three or four white outboard engines. It was last seen heading westbound from Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne.” Investigators are unclear as to whether the boat operator knew they had hit the young teen.

Ella attended Ransom Everglades High School. Rachel Rodriguez, Head of the school, issued a statement, saying the following:

Our hearts are broken and our community has been devastated by this tragedy. Ella shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. She was an outstanding student, a wonderful dancer and an active member of the Jewish Student Association and speech and debate team. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and our prayers are with all who are mourning her loss.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) is asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact their hotline at 1-888-404-3922, or they may call their local police. A $5,000 reward has been established for information that leads to an arrest.

A history of boat accidents near Noxon Beach

Saturday was just the latest in a string of incidents that have happened near Nixon Beach. Per The Miami Herald: “Nixon Beach is no stranger to danger, as it boasts a ‘drink hard, party hard’ reputation. Key Biscayne police, in years past, have even branded it as ‘South Beach on the water.’ The sandbar was named after Richard Nixon, who had a home overlooking the pristine shallow area.”

Some of the incidents and accidents that have occurred in this area include:

  • In June 2022, two people were killed and 10 injured when two boats collided.
  • In March 2016, 31-year-old Paul Flowers was killed after he dove into the water to assist a boat that was stuck in the rocks.
  • In May 2015, a woman was injured after “diving head-first off a boat and onto a sandbar.”
  • In 2014, 23-year-old Ernesto Hernandez was helping push a boat off the sand when he was fatally struck by the propellors. The boat was helmed by media personality DJ Laz. No charges were filed.
  • In July 2014, four people were killed and three hospitalized when a 32-foot powerboat rammed into a vessel carrying eight boaters.
  • In October 2013, a 45-foot party boat full of people capsized near the sandbar. The passengers (and one dog) escaped with minor injuries.

What happens now?

This terrible tragedy underscores the need for boaters to:

  • Be safe and maintain a proper lookout for other boaters and people in the water skiing and surfing behind boats.
  • Get liability insurance with at least a $1M limit in case you do make a mistake and someone makes a claim against you.
  • Get uninsured boater liability insurance of at least $1M in coverage. This is insurance for when you are injured by someone else’s mistake and they don’t have insurance. Then you can look to your own policy.

In all such accidents on Biscayne Bay or the Atlantic Ocean, maritime law governs the rights and responsibilities of the parties. Maritime law governed the conduct of the boat which struck the water skier. And maritime law governs the claims brought by the family of the water skier.

As we stated earlier, the FWC is still searching for the boater that ran down Ella Adler. At Hickey Law Firm, we hope that Ella’s family and friends are able to find justice and closure in the midst of this tragic event.

Hickey Law Firm specializes in “life changing injuries”®. Call us first. Call us now. 800.215.7117

Hickey Law Firm is America’s No. 1 Maritime Law Firm. We handle complex Maritime cases. We are specialists in Maritime law. We have unique qualifications that no other laws firms have.

The Best Lawyers in America® recognizes John H. (Jack) Hickey in three areas: Admiralty and Maritime Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs. He is double Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Civil Trial and Admiralty and Maritime Law, and Board Certified in Civil Trial by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA).

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Hickey Law Firm today or fill out our contact form. Remember, we only get paid AFTER we win your case. We’re based in Miami but serve clients throughout Florida and across the United States. Our attorneys are here to help.