Search on for Florida boater who fatally hit ballerina, 15, then fled scene

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Florida police search for boater who fatally hit 15-year-old girl, then fled scene
WATCH: Florida authorities are searching for a boater who struck and killed a 15-year-old girl on Saturday and then fled the scene.

Florida authorities are searching for a boater who struck and killed a 15-year-old ballerina and then fled the scene.

The fatal collision occurred Saturday afternoon near Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne, a barrier island off the coast of Miami, Florida, Fish and Wildlife officials wrote in a release. The girl was waterskiing when she was hit by a centre console boat with a light blue hull. The vessel then sped off westward from Nixon Beach at around 4:30 p.m.

“The boat has multiple white outboard motors and may have blue or dark blue bottom paint,” officials added.

A stock image example of a centre console boat with two outboard motors. Cavan Images/Getty Images

The girl who was hit by the boat died from her injuries, officials wrote.

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Anyone with video footage or information about the incident is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

On Monday, the girl who died was identified by her high school as 15-year-old Ella Riley Adler, a student at Ransom Everglades School and an accomplished ballerina.

“Our hearts are broken and our community has been devastated by this tragedy,” head of school Rachel Rodriguez said in a statement to NBC South Florida. “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.”

Photo of Ella Riley Adler, a 15-year-old high schooler and ballerina from Miami who was killed in a hit-and-run boat collision on May 11, 2024. Levitt-Weinstein Blasberg-Rubin-Zilbert Memorial Chapel

Adler is described as a “star” and a “force of nature,” in an online obituary.

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“Ella shone on stage as a ballerina in the Nutcracker, appearing in over 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Her magnetism radiated on the stage, where she belonged and thrived. Her love of dance continued at Ransom Everglades, where she performed on the dance team and, just a few weeks ago, in the school play,” her family writes.

The 15-year-old excelled in school and “worked hard at everything she did,” Adler’s family adds. “She emanated love and joy. She was beautiful. When she walked into a room, everyone was drawn to her.”

Adler is survived by her parents, Amanda and Matthew, and her younger siblings Jaden and Adalynn. Her grandfather is the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Michael M. Adler.

Crime Stoppers in Miami is offering a US$5,000 reward for anyone who calls its hotline with a tip that leads to the arrest of the hit-and-run boater.

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An anonymous witness to the boat collision told NBC that Adler was in the water when she was struck by the boat. The yacht she had been waterskiing from blared its horns and circled back to the girl as the other vessel sped off.

Fish and wildlife officials told the outlet that Adler was “in the water with the board attached to her feet and wearing a life jacket,” and not actively waterskiing when the collision happened.

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