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California Briefing / Huntington Beach

No charges in lifeguard's death

November 12, 2009|Shelby Grad

Orange County prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a marine safety officer whose boat struck and killed Huntington Beach junior lifeguard Allyssa Squirrell. Authorities determined the incident was an accident.

The incident occurred in July when 11-year-old Allyssa was participating in a training exercise known as a speed drop, in which junior lifeguards drop into the water off a moving rescue boat. She was struck by propellers when the boat circled around to pick up the swimmers, and she later died in surgery. It was the first fatal accident since the Huntington Beach program began in 1964.

Hundreds attended her memorial. "She was having the best summer as a Huntington Beach junior lifeguard," the family wrote in a note on display. "She adored the program, loved the structure and would challenge herself daily to be the best she could be."

-- Shelby Grad

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