Speeding alleged in fatal boat accident

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)- A man in his fifties was driving the boat on which a teenaged girl was killed last week.

Avery Gardner of Lockport had just turned 16 and was on a boat early in the morning of Thursday of last week when her head struck the low pedestrian bridge in Ellicott Creek Park as the boat passed under it.

“It was not a tragic accident either”, said Donna Hemmerling, mother of Avery’s boyfriend Greg. He was also on the boat, but Greg’s mother says there was a much older man driving it. “And this man was speeding. To know that it’s 5 mph and he was speeding at 35 to 40 mph. We do not believe that Avery stood up in the boat or she was standing in the boat. She was knocked to the point of standing to hit her head. It was because of things that he did that caused this and the truth is gonna come out shortly I’m hoping in a few days at least by Monday.”Ellicott creek

Julia Hannah-Albon wants to know why the boat was even in the park “Because I don’t even think boats are allowed over here.”

Giovanni Gandolfo is one about forty friends who turned out Friday evening for a candlelight vigil on the bridge where she was killed. “She was a very caring person she cared about everybody. She always wanted everybody to be happy. She never wanted anyone else to fight and she loved everyone like we love her.”

Town of Tonawanda Police are only saying that speed and alcohol have not been ruled out, and the investigation continues.

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