HILLSDALE COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — An 11-year-old girl was tragically killed in a boating accident on Lake Michindoh on Wednesday, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The accident happened around 3 p.m. offshore of the Michindoh Conference Center, which is Christian camp and conference center on the east side of the lake along Bacon Road.
A 25-year-old lifeguard from the conference center was driving a 1989 Supra Sunsport and was pulling 12 children on a banana boat. Both the boat and tube belonged to the conference center, officials said.
A 29-year-old woman was also on the boat as a spotter.
At some point, three children fell off the banana boat tube and the driver of the boat went back to pick them up. While they were in the pick-up process, the boat hit a fourth child, an 11-year-old girl who was not previously seen in the water.
The DNR says the boat driver immediately jumped in the water to help the 11-year-old child who had been hit.
Two separate people called 911, one providing details and one requesting an ambulance.
The girl was taken to a dock at the conference center and emergency responders treated the girl’s life-threatening injuries, officials said.
She was taken by an ambulance to the Hillsdale County Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
The driver of the boat has a Michigan boater safety certificate and is cooperating with the investigation, and all the children who were on the banana boat were wearing life jackets and helmets, the DNR said.