A 16-year-old Connecticut high school student was killed and another suffered a serious leg injury after the teens fell while tubing on Long Island Sound and were struck by the boat towing them, according to police.
Police have identified the teen who died as 16-year-old Emily Fedorko, of Old Greenwich. Authorities said she was out on the water with three old friends, all ages 15 and 16 and rising juniors at Greenwich High School, when tragedy struck.
According to police, the teens were boating off Greenwich Point Park Wednesday afternoon, in a 21-foot Wahoo center console recreational powerboat that belonged to one of their fathers.
Police said Thursday that the driver of the boat was properly licensed with a boating safety certificate and described the scene as a "tragic accident." Alcohol did not appear to be a factor, according to police.
Fedorko and another teen fell off an inner tube between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., according to police. The driver of the boat made a turn to pick up the tubers when the boat hit the two girls in the water, injuring them with the propeller of the outboard engine, police said.
The teens who were in the boat immediately lifted the injured girls into the vessel and brought them to the Old Greenwich Yacht Club, about a mile or two from where the accident happened, according to police. The Greenwich harbormaster said the girls are not members of the yacht club.
Greenwich police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray said at a press conference Thursday that the driver and passenger of the boat rendered medical aid in an effort to save Fedorko, but it was too late.
She sustained an severe injury to her torso and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the medical examiner will determine the cause of Fedorko's death.
The other teen sustained a significant but non-life threatening soft tissue injury to her lower left leg and was rushed to Stamford Hospital for surgery and "extensive stitching," police said. She remains in the hospital Thursday and officials said she is recovering well from her injuries. Her name has not been released.
"This is a devastating loss for the whole Greenwich community," said Greenwich school Supt. William S. McKersie, at a news conference on Thursday.
Twenty grief counselors were available Thursday at Eastern Middle School and Greenwich High School, McKersie said. Anyone in need of counseling can dial 211 or call the Center for Hope at 203-655-0547.
This is the second tragic death the rising juniors have experienced in two years. In August 2013, a sophomore committed suicide just hours after the start of the new school year.
The Greenwich Police Department Marine Section is investigating and the State Environmental Conservation Police will conduct the accident reconstruction. Police said the report will be extensive.