MONROE COUNTY, Ind. – An 8-year-old Martinsville girl died after being struck by the propeller of a boat over the weekend.
According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the girl was boating with her father and friends on Monroe Lake just after 6 p.m. Sunday when the accident occurred.
“Certainly it does happen, and it can happen, and it happens obviously in an instant,” said Indiana Conservation Officer, Lieutenant Angela Goldman, “The scene last night was very chaotic, obviously a little girl is gravely injured so there were a lot of witnesses we preliminary spoke with, so today (Monday) we’re going back and re-interviewing everyone.”
The girl was wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident. She was transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
The Monroe County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Callee Crones-Arias of Martinsville.
The coroner’s office said the 8-year-old suffered injuries to her chest, abdomen and lower extremities. The cause of death has been ruled blunt force trauma to the abdomen, and the manner of death has been ruled as an accident.
“These children have no idea of the dangers right underneath the water surface there with that propeller,” said Goldman, “We’ve seen it in the past and we will see it again. Those propellers show no mercy. It’s imperative that everyone, including the small children understand the dangers of being around that motor.”
DNR said the circumstances surrounding the accident remain under investigation.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Monroe County Coroner’s Office, IU Health EMS and Monroe Fire Territory assisted Indiana conservation officers at the scene.
In 2017, there were a total of 57 reported boating accidents in the Hoosier state.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Report, between 2013 and 2017, Indiana had between 5 to 9 deaths per year on the water.
This is a developing story.