Suspect Identified In Florida Boat Crash That Killed 15-Year-Old Claims He Had ‘Absolutely No Idea’ His Boat Was Involved

(L) Photo via: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission / (R) An aerial view of the waters of Biscayne Bay surrounding Hibiscus Island. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:45 PM – Thursday, May 16, 2024

According to his lawyer, the Florida boater who is accused of being the driver of the boat that struck and killed a 15-year-old ballerina says he “had absolutely no idea” that his boat was purportedly involved in the hit-and-run killing.

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A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) incident report stated that Carlos Guillermo Alonso, 78, of Coral Gables, is the individual accused of running over Ella Riley Adler in his 42-foot-long Boston Whaler boat last Saturday in Biscayne Bay. He is also accused of fleeing the scene of the crime.

Lauren Field Krasnoff, Alonso’s attorney, indicated that although her client is heartbroken over the incident, she was unaware that he was a major suspect until the police began questioning him about it.

“We don’t know at this time whether [Alonso] or his boat [was] the boat involved in the crash,” she told NBC 6. “If his boat was involved, I can tell you he had absolutely no idea that that is what happened that day. He is as devastated as anybody could be.”

Alonso, who is cooperating with the probe, was identified in the FWC report as the only person on the boat at the time when it collided with Adler as she was in the water celebrating a friend’s birthday.

Alonso, a boater for more than 50 years, was docking “his boat in plain sight” and went about his day as normal on the day of the incident, according to Krasnoff, who emphasized that nothing seemed strange or off in any way to her client.

She continued, noting that Alonso, a native of Cuba who entered the U.S. during Operation Peter Pan, which took place between 1960 and 1962, has no criminal history, abstains from alcohol, and was not drinking on the day that Adler was struck and killed.

“We are devastated for the Adlers, for their friends, for their family—there’s no question in our minds that this is an absolutely horrific thing that happened, and we pray for and think of their family and friends during this time,” Krasnoff told a local outlet. 

Alonso’s boat is now being shipped to a facility by the FWC for an assessment.

At Adler’s burial on Monday, friends and relatives flocked to bid farewell to the gifted ballerina, who performed with the Miami City Ballet in over 100 shows.

“You were taken from us way too soon, and the world has been robbed of all the things you could have achieved,” grieving father Matthew Adler wrote in a letter, which was read at the event.

No charges have been brought against Alonso since the inquiry is still underway, according to officials.

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