2 girls killed in jet ski, boat crash in Lake County identified by coroner: 'A tragic, unfortunate accident'

Two girls were killed after crashing a jet ski into a boat on Lake Marie in Antioch on Tuesday.

The girls, 16 and 13, were riding the jet ski at a high rate of speed around 5:15 p.m. when they crashed into a Sea Ray Cabin Cruiser near the Gass Lake Channel, according to Lake County officials.  

Deputy Chief Chris Covelli, with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, said the 55-year-old boat operator tried to maneuver out of the way but was unable to avoid a collision. 

Both girls, who were wearing life jackets, were knocked unconscious in the crash and thrown into the water.

"It doesn't appear they avoided or tried to make any sharp maneuvers. It appears they went straight into the cabin cruiser. Just seems to be a tragic, unfortunate accident," Covelli said. "The driver of the cabin cruiser certainly shaken up by the situation, as were the three passengers on board. They did immediately jump into action and do everything they could to save these girls' lives. Unfortunately, it didn't work out." 

The boat operator and three passengers on the Sea Ray pulled the girls from the water, called 911 and rendered aid, officials said. One of the girls was transported to the shore by the boat operator and the other was taken to land by the operator of another boat.

The girls were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center where they were pronounced dead. The 16-year-old girl was from Lake Forest, California and the 13-year-old was from Long Grove. 

The girls have been identified as 16-year-old Sarina Vootkur, of Lake Forest, Calif. and 13-year-old Elle Kim, of Long Grove, Ill.

There were no other injuries reported.

A witness to the collision noted that the lake was not crowded at the time of the crash.

"Today was like, nobody out there. It was like wide open. I was out on my waverunner earlier in the afternoon. It was choppy, but, you know, you could see boats coming at you. So I don’t know how these guys hit a boat with so much open, open space," said Scott Swearingen.

According to the coroner, autopsy results indicate that both girls died from blunt force injuries suffered as a result of the crash.