GREENWICH, Conn. (WABC) --A boating accident on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut claimed the life of a high school student and landed her friend in the hospital.
Now, several families and a community are in mourning.
The investigation is ongoing into the incident, which police are calling a tragic accident. The victim was identified as 16-year-old Emily Fedorko, of Old Greenwich.
Authorities say she and a 15-year-old girl were tubing on Wednesday when the propeller of their tow boat struck them, killing Fedorko and seriously injuring her friend. Another 16-year-old girl was driving the motor boat and a fourth girl, also 16, was on board when the accident occurred about 2 p.m. off Greenwich Point Park.
Fedorko and the 15-year old were thrown from the tube they were riding in. For reasons that are still unclear, the boat hit the the girls as it circled to pick them up. Fedorko suffered a laceration to her torso from the propeller and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the two girls managed to pull the other injured teen onto the boat.
Authorities said the operator of the boat immediately transported them to the Old Greenwich Yacht Club dock about 1 to 2 miles away.
"What exactly the maneuvers were, I couldn't tell you at this point," Greenwich police Lt. Kraig Gray said. "The girls were dislodged from the tube, and unfortunately, they became entangled in the prop of the vessel."
In Connecticut, anyone over the age of 13 with safety training can operate a recreational vessel.
Robert Anderson, a friend of Fedorko, said, "I was just depressed and saddened....(she was) just a great girl."
The four girls attended Greenwich High School. The victim who survived suffered a severe leg injury that required extensive stitching.
Fedorko was an honor student and a member of the gymnastics team. Though school is not session, 20 counselors from the district were on hand to provide support for a loss the superintendent calls devastating. If anyone is feeling in the need of counseling and cannot make it to either site, please dial 211 or call the Center for Hope at (203) 655-0547.
School Superintendent William McKersie said the victim was a rising junior. A statement from the superintendent's office read, "There are few words that can express the deep compassion we feel for the family of the young girl that has died and the three other girls involved in the accident."
The accident is being investigated by the Greenwich Police Department Marine Section, while the State Environmental Conservation Police (ENCON) will conduct an accident reconstruction and a mechanic evaluation of the vessel.