Marine Patrol Division

An Alabama Marine Police boat patrols near Wind Creek State Park campgrounds in this file photo.

A 16-year-old Phenix City girl was killed and her 14-year-old female passenger critically injured after their vehicle left the roadway, struck an embankment and overturned.

Neither were wearing a seatbelt and both were ejected from the vehicle on a Lee County road near Salem.

Cassidy Snell was killed in the accident, which was reported at 3:51 p.m. Monday.

The teen passenger was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate the accident, which occurred on Lee Road 140 near Lee Road 144, approximately five miles east of Opelika.

Snell was driving a 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The accident was one of multiple accidents in the region during the long Memorial Day weekend that resulted in a fatality.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Troopers said that 56-year-old Jerome Marks was killed Saturday on Lake Wheeler near Talucah Landing.

The accident remains under investigation, but Marks was not wearing a personal flotation device, Marine police said.

A 12-year-old boy was killed in a separate incident Saturday on Smith Lake.

Christian Hart was killed when he was hit by a boat near the Goat Island area of Smith Lake, according to authorities.

Earlier this month an Auburn man was killed on Lake Martin in a boating accident.

David George Goodling, 56, was killed on a Friday night, May 3, and Norman Ray Harris, 62, of Leeds was injured in what Alabama Marine Patrol officers have determined was two separate collisions, involving three boats.

That earlier incident remains under investigation.

Also during the Memorial Day weekend, Sunday night in Georgia near LaGrange, authorities say a man drowned on a lake trying to save his father who walked out of their boat after a nap because he mistakenly thought he was home.

Troup County Sheriff's Sgt. Stewart Smith said the two men were sleeping on their boat on West Point Lake near LaGrange.

Smith told The LaGrange Daily News that the father woke up and thought he was home, walking right off the boat as he thought he was going to the bathroom.

The 34-year-old son jumped in to rescue his father, but did not resurface, Smith said. Nearby boaters rescued the father.

Authorities say the son's body was recovered from the lake Monday morning.

Also in Georgia, authorities say two people drowned in unrelated incidents on Lake Lanier over the busy Memorial Day weekend.

News outlets report 30-year-old Reginald Terrell Whitehead of Perry was found dead after a personal watercraft he was riding overturned near a boat ramp. Divers recovered his body late Saturday.

Whitehead was not wearing a flotation device and couldn't swim, officials said.

Lake Lanier is located about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Authorities Saturday morning pulled the body of 61-year-old Michael Thompson from the water near his boat dock on Lake Lanier. The Hall County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that a family member discovered Thompson's body.

During the weekend in Florida, 63-year-old Rogelio Moreno Gaitan of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was swimming by himself when he drowned Friday.

Surfers spotted Gaitan floating face down about 40 yards from the Destin shore. He was pulled from the water and beach safety workers tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

The death came less than a week after a Jackson, Mississippi, man drowned in the same area of the Florida Panhandle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Troy Turner is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. He previously served as the news editor in New York for the nation's second largest newspaper company, and as the senior editor at several other news entities around the nation. He is an Auburn alum.


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