New Braunfels’ “Smithson Valley High School family lost two of its own in separate tragedies” in mid-July, “one in Colorado and another closer to home,” according to the Herald-Zeitung. Jessica Ghawi, c/o 2006, was killed in the movie theatre massacre that rocked the nation in Aurora, Colorado, and on the same day, 16-year-old student Kali Gorzell died in a boating accident at Aransas Pass. Officers found Gorzell “unconscious and not breathing,” and she had reportedly been a passenger in a boat where something “went wrong and Kali fell from the boat,” according to the Herlad-Zeitung. She had suffered life-threatening injuries when she fell, and several media outlets reported after the accident that she had been “struck by the boat’s propeller.” According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety 2011, falls overboard were the fifth most common cause of accidents for boaters, with 359 incidents that resulted in 205 deaths in 2011. Open motorboats are the number one vessel for top casualty numbers, with 253 drownings alone in 2011. According to the report, most fatal boat accidents happen in the late afternoon and early evening, and July was the month with by far the most fatal incidents. While boat accidents are common, they’re avoidable. Nearly all boat accidents are operator-perpetuated. Operator Inattention, Improper Lookout, Inexperience, and Excessive Speed are the top four known primary contributing factors of boat accidents, only then followed by Machinery Failure, Alcohol Use, and Hazardous Waters. If you or someone you know has been wrongly injured in a boating accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a dedicated New Braunfels personal injury lawyer today.