LUTHERVILLE, Md. (WJZ/AP)—Loved ones are in mourning for a Maryland high school student.
As Mike Hellgren reports, she died in an accident more than 11,000 miles away.
Lutherville resident Cameron O’Neill-Mullin,16 and a sophomore at Saint Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore County, died in an accident at a water park in Australia, where she was visiting on a student-exchange program.
She and several friends—all sisters and members of her host family—were on an inner tube being pulled by a speed boat when it crashed into a tree.
Another teenager riding with O’Neill-Mullin also died.
“A very, very well-respected and well-liked family in the community, and it’s just particularly hard for everyone around,” said Graeme Scheu, Goondiwindi, Australia mayor.
The tragedy has prompted hundreds of people around the world to send their condolences on Facebook:
“You were such a kind, smart and talented girl. You and your family are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.”
“Two beautiful, amazing girls.”
“Any sort of tragedy like that in any town and in such a close community; it’s just horrible,” said an Australian resident.
“They go to the same school my daughter goes to, so it’s very upsetting,” said another Australian resident.
All the girls—including the one driving the motorboat—were experienced in water sports.
According to published reports, O’Neill-Mullin and her friend died on impact, leaving two communities a world apart grieving their loss.
Saint Paul’s School For Girls has grief counselors on hand for those students who need to talk through their feelings regarding what happened.
O’Neill-Mullin was supposed to be in Australia for five weeks.
The girl’s father says her burial won’t be held until next week. He says the family is also planning in about a month a life celebration in her honor.