CORNELIUS – The collision of two Jet Skis on Lake Norman July 21 resulted in the death of a local teenager.
The incident occurred around 4:40 p.m. in open water near the Peninsula Cove area, killing Claire Miley, a rising freshman at Cannon School. Including Miley, there were two local minors on each of the Jet Skis all younger than 16, but Sgt. William Layton of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said all the proper safety precautions, such as wearing a life jacket, were being observed.
“Our entire school community is brokenhearted, as we stand together in deep sadness and grieve with the Miley family,” a statement from Cannon reads.
The other three passengers were released from the hospital Sunday, and one has a broken leg.
First-responders from the Cornelius and Huntersville fire departments, as well as Mecklenburg County Medic responded to the accident, in addition to the NCWRC.
“Claire was a vibrant, passionate, and bright young lady,” said Cannon Head of Middle School Carla Moyer. “She was spunky, resilient, focused, confident, positive, and quick to laugh. Most importantly, she had an amazing heart and was a constant source of forthright encouragement and support to those around her. She made Cannon a better place and she will be sorely missed.”
The school opened its performing arts center July 23 as a place where students, teachers and families could receive counseling services. Claire previously attended Woodlawn School and SouthLake Christian Academy.
“We come to the lake to have fun and recreate. You just cannot let your guard down,” Layton said.
The incident occurred just days after a Jet Ski exploded on the lake near Whaling Drive in Mooresville. The man on the craft, a Honda F-12 that was under recall, had non-life-threatening injuries.