Authorities Seek Suspect in Fatal Florida Hit-and-Run Boating Accident that Killed 15-Year-Old Girl

According to a preliminary FWC investigation, Ella was wakeboarding near Nixon Beach, about a mile offshore, when she fell into the water.

Ella Adler
15-year-old Ella Adler killed in hit-and-run boating accident in Florida.

Authorities continued their search on Tuesday for the individual responsible for fatally striking a girl with a boat while she was waterskiing in South Florida over the weekend. The victim has been identified as 15-year-old Ella Adler from Miami Beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) identified Ella Adler as the victim of the Key Biscayne boating accident.

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“Ms. Adler fell in the water while being towed and was struck by another vessel at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Saturday,” FWC spokesperson Arielle Callender told USA TODAY. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ella Adler during this incredibly difficult time.”

According to a preliminary FWC investigation, Ella was wakeboarding near Nixon Beach, about a mile offshore, when she fell into the water. While she was waiting to be retrieved by her boat, another vessel struck her and fled the scene. Despite wearing a life jacket, Ella succumbed to her injuries.

The vessel involved is described as a center console boat with a light blue hull, multiple white outboard engines, and possibly blue or dark blue bottom paint. It was last seen heading west from Nixon Beach.

“We are heartbroken as we say goodbye to our beautiful niece, Ella,” her aunt, Cristina Mas Adler of Coral Gables, posted on Facebook. “She brought so much joy, laughter, and love into our lives. I love you Ella Bella.”

Ella, who attended Ransom Everglades School in Miami and was a ballerina, was remembered fondly by her school. “We are heartbroken,” the school posted on Facebook. “Ella Adler ’27 shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. We wish peace and comfort to her family.”

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As of Tuesday, the suspect in the fatal hit-and-run remained at large. A $20,000 reward, including $10,000 from Ella’s family and a combined $10,000 from FWC and Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, is being offered for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the suspect.

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