KEEGO HARBOR (WWJ) - A 6-year-old girl has died in the hospital one day after her brother was killed in a boating accident on Sylvan Lake.
Police said three siblings — a boy and two girls — were tubing Sunday afternoon when a boat crashed into them. The boater reportedly told police he did not see the children who were pulled behind a jet-ski piloted by their father.
The Oakland County Medical Examiner confirmed that an 11-year-old boy, Alex Mansour, died Sunday of injuries to his chest and head. His sister, 6-year-old Gabrielle, died Monday; and 10 year-old Adrianna remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard called it “one of the worst boating tragedies that we’ve seen in a long time.”
“We’re going to do a complete and thorough investigation,” Bouchard said. ”But in the end it won’t make anybody feel any better … And regardless of the results, it’s not going to the heal the wounds that this has created; it’s so very sad.”
Sylvan Lake boater, Pete Peters, said weekend afternoons can be precarious with so many boats are on the water — some of them piloted by inexperienced captains. ”Some people don’t really give good care in looking at what’s happening with the other boats, and that apparently happened yesterday,” he told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Ron Dewey.
“If people are going really fast on Saturday and Sunday afternoons we need a police boat out there at those times,” Peters added. “We used to have an Oakland County Sheriff boat out here on weekend … we just haven’t had that lately. I don’t know the reason why.”
Peters said Sunday afternoons are the most dangerous; and he stays off the lake during those times.
Longtime Keego Harbor resident Mitchell Murray says the small size of Oakland County’s inland lakes doesn’t leave much room for error — especially on a hot day.
“That’s when everyone brings all their friends out … and they pack 10, 12 people on an eight-person boat,” Murray said. “They add alcohol into the mix to cool down — and it’s just not recommended to go high-speed boating when there’s a lot of traffic.”
Authorities said, however, that alcohol did not appear to be a factor in Sunday’s crash.
A vigil was planned for the three children at 8 p.m. Monday at St. Thomas Church on Maple in West Bloomfield.