University of Miami student dies in Everglades boat crash

A University of Miami musical theater student died in an airboat crash, just one day after graduating at the top of her class. 

Elizabeth ‘Ellie’ Goldenberg, 22, of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts on Friday. 

To celebrate her academic accomplishment, Ellie and her family went on an airboat tour of the Florida Everglades the next morning, reports the Miami Herald.  

Musical theater student Elizabeth 'Ellie' Goldenberg, 22, graduated summa cum laude from University of Miami, just one day before she died in a boating accident in the Everglades. She's seen here in a photo by http://washingtondcheadshots.com/

Musical theater student Elizabeth 'Ellie' Goldenberg, 22, graduated summa cum laude from University of Miami, just one day before she died in a boating accident in the Everglades. She's seen here in a photo by http://washingtondcheadshots.com/

Musical theater student Elizabeth ‘Ellie’ Goldenberg, 22, graduated summa cum laude from University of Miami, just one day before she died in a boating accident in the Everglades. She’s seen here in a photo by http://washingtondcheadshots.com/

Ellie Goldenberg, who received a bachelor's of fine arts, starred in several campus productions and was vice president of the University of Miami's Theatre Action Group

Ellie Goldenberg, who received a bachelor's of fine arts, starred in several campus productions and was vice president of the University of Miami's Theatre Action Group

Ellie Goldenberg, who received a bachelor’s of fine arts, starred in several campus productions and was vice president of the University of Miami’s Theatre Action Group

Ellie (left) posted this photo of herself and friends on May 11, the day before she graduated

Ellie (left) posted this photo of herself and friends on May 11, the day before she graduated

Ellie (left) posted this photo of herself and friends on May 11, the day before she graduated

Authorities are seen above in an airboat in the area of the Everglades where the Goldenberg's crash occured

Authorities are seen above in an airboat in the area of the Everglades where the Goldenberg's crash occured

Authorities are seen above in an airboat in the area of the Everglades where the Goldenberg’s crash occured

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, their airboat crashed at about 11.45am on Saturday, 12 miles west of Krome Avenue in Miami, Florida’s Everglades Wildlife Management Area.   

Ellie, who was tossed from the boat during the crash, died from the injuries she sustained, FWCC spokesperson Robert Klepper told the Miami Herald. 

Ellie’s parents, Renee Flaxx-Goldenberg and David Goldenberg, both 54, her sister, Dana Goldenberg, 20, and airboat driver Steven George Gagne, 52, were also ejected from the boat during the crash.

Ellie’s parents and Gagne were reportedly uninjured, but Dana sustained minor injuries and was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center for treatment. 

Ellie Goldenberg received this year's Friends of Theater Award from the University of Miami's Department of Theater Arts. The award recognizes 'unlimited potential in acting'

Ellie Goldenberg received this year's Friends of Theater Award from the University of Miami's Department of Theater Arts. The award recognizes 'unlimited potential in acting'

Ellie Goldenberg received this year’s Friends of Theater Award from the University of Miami’s Department of Theater Arts. The award recognizes ‘unlimited potential in acting’

Ellie Goldenberg (right), was 'absolutely beloved by her faculty, fellow students'

Ellie Goldenberg (right), was 'absolutely beloved by her faculty, fellow students'

Ellie Goldenberg (right), was ‘absolutely beloved by her faculty, fellow students’

 Ellie, who was tossed from the boat during the crash, died from the injuries she sustained. Authorities are seen at the scene above

 Ellie, who was tossed from the boat during the crash, died from the injuries she sustained. Authorities are seen at the scene above

 Ellie, who was tossed from the boat during the crash, died from the injuries she sustained. Authorities are seen at the scene above

Although the FWCC did not name Gagne as being the boat’s driver, he was the only person listed as having been on the boat, who was not a member of the Goldenberg family.   

The FWCC did not state why the accident happened or the name of the company that operated the airboat that crashed.

‘At this time, I am unable to state whether or not this boating incident investigation will result in any charges,’ Klepper told the Sun Sentinel.  

Ellie’s mother, Renee, told the Sun Sentinel that, ‘I’m a mourning mother … and it’s a criminal investigation, so it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to speak about the circumstances in which she died.’

Renee also said, ‘We loved her, we miss her. It’s a tremendous loss to the world that she was taken so young.’ 

 Ellie (right) was born in Israel and spent a year living there after graduating from high school

 Ellie (right) was born in Israel and spent a year living there after graduating from high school

 Ellie (right) was born in Israel and spent a year living there after graduating from high school

Ellie recently received a Friends of Theater Award from the University of Miami’s Department of Theater Arts, which recognizes talent and ‘unlimited potential in acting,’ CBS Miami said. It’s one of the highest honors given out by the school’s theater department.  

She starred in several campus productions, including ‘Spring Awakening,’ ‘Of Thee I Sing,’ ‘The Adding Machine’ and ‘As You Like It.’ Ellie was also vice president of the university’s Theater Action Group.

She ‘was absolutely beloved by her faculty, fellow students and her many UM friends,’ Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs at University of Miami, said in a statement obtained by the Miami Herald.  

Ellie was born in Israel and spent a year living there after graduating from high school.  

 

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