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Teenage girl dies after holiday tubing accident | News

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Teenage girl dies after holiday tubing accident

Seminole, Florida-- A 15-year-old girl from Seminole died Tuesday morning after a Labor Day watercraft accident. Katie Yale was being towed on a tube behind a boat, when a man on a Sea-Doo ran into her.

Katie Yale will be remembered for her constant smile and fun-loving spirit.

"She was kind of goofy and silly," says Katie's mother Karen, sitting at home and Doug, the teen's father, chimes in, "Katie was friends with everybody. Everybody loved Katie."

The 15-year-old died this morning at Bayfront Medical Center with her parents praying and singing at her bedside.

"The doctors had told us she was going to leave us," explains Karen. "We had an opportunity to say our goodbyes."

Katie suffered critical injuries in a Labor Day accident on Lake Seminole. She and a friend, Aubree Franz, 13, were being towed on a tube behind a boat driven by Doug. About 1:45 p.m., Ryan Godcharles, who was driving a Sea-Doo collided with the tube.

Franz received minor injuries and Godcharles, from Naples, was not injured.

Katie was a 10th grader at Keswick Christian School and today her classmates learned of her passing. 

"You could hear the sobs throughout the whole chapel," said 16-year-old Abbey Ball. "It was sad."

But there were also smiles at school today as friends remembered the good times with Katie. She was a multi-sport athlete who could laugh at herself.

"During sports she was clumsy," said soccer teammate Madison Span with a chuckle. "She'd fall over and burst into laughter and she'd get up and still have this huge smile on her face."

The Yale family has close ties to Keswick. Not only was Katie a student there, but her mother graduated from Keswick and is the long-time school counselor there. So Superintendent Nick Stratis says the accident has hit everyone at the school hard. 

"We'll have a special assembly tonight, a prayer vigil, and we're going to put our arms around the Yales and love on 'em," said Stratis.

The Yale family began their Labor Day outing with prayers for safety and despite their loss, they say their Christian faith remains strong.

"We miss Katie," explains Doug. "My heart is breaking for what I'm not going to have any longer, but Katie's in heaven and we're going to go see her again someday." Adds Karen, "We know we're going to see her again."

Follow 10 News Reporter KathrynBursch on twitter @Kathryn Bursch


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