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Teen remains critical after jet ski accident

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

A 13-year-old girl remains in critical condition at UK hospital after a crash involving a boat and jet ski.

It happened Friday night on Herrington Lake between the Chenault Bridge and Bryant's Camp Marina in Boyle County.

13-year-old Lauren Alex Otte was struck by a boat while on a jet ski. NewsFirst is told she is suffering serious lower body injuries.

Geneva Abbott lives near the scene and heard the accident.

"I was in my house ... heard a loud bang and this lady screaming 'oh, God. That's my baby.' She kept screaming 'help, help,'" Abbott says.

Abbott called 911.

"She had just got on the jet ski when she got run over," Abbott says. "I was scared she was dead but they said she had a heartbeat."

The girl, Lauren Otte, was brought onto her family's dock while paramedics waited for a helicopter. Abbott says the 17 foot boat she collided with capsized and sent everyone a board into the water.

The operator of the boat, 39-year-old Sammy Hackler, was charged with boating under the influence, assault and three counts of wanton endangerment. Hackler was being held at the Boyle County Detention Center with a $25,000 cash bond. He posted bond Saturday.

Newsfirst spoke with Hackler at his home on Monday. He called this a "tragic accident" but did not wish to speak on camera about what happened.

As for the family of Lauren Otte, a spokesperson says they want the community to know they are thankful for the prayers they've received.

Otte remains in critical condition at UK Hospital.


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