Dozens of Juneau teenagers held a quiet memorial at Auke Lake late Monday afternoon for 16-year-old Savannah Cayce who died earlier in the day of her injuries from a collision between an inner tube and a Jet Ski.
The teens were gathered on the floating dock at the Auke Lake boat launch. It was silent except for soft crying, whispering and the sound of the rain on the trees.
Dozens of brightly-colored carnations and roses floated in the water around the dock, while people gathered in groups, holding each other or clutching long-stemmed flowers.
Cayce was one of two teenage girls being towed in an inner tube on Auke Lake Saturday. Lt. David Campbell says there were few witnesses to the accident, which occurred in the middle of the lake. He says the two Jet Ski drivers and the other teen riding the inner tube helped officers piece together the cause.
“We conducted our investigation and we learned that the inner tube was being towed by a Jet Ski and the inner tube swung out and hit another Jet Ski,” Campbell said. “So it was the inner tube hitting the Jet Ski not a Jet Ski running over an inner tube.”
Campbell says a boater in the area brought the girls back to shore.
Both girls were taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital. One girl was treated for a bump on her head and released, and the other was medevac’d to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a severe head injury.
Harborview officials say she was declared brain dead at 8:45 a.m. Monday.
Campbell says the Jet Ski towing the inner tube was being driven by a 20-year-old Juneau man. The driver of the other Jet Ski was a 19-year-old Juneau male. Police are not releasing any names at this time. He says alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
According to Campbell, the department is conducting a full investigation, which is required by law when a death is unattended.