A young boy left
alone with his fatherís jet ski on Sunday at the Michigan City beach
inadvertently started it, then rode it up onto the beach, striking a woman,
the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.
According to the
DNR, at 1:14 p.m. an Illinois man operating a personal watercraft with his
5-year-old son aboard stopped to help another jet ski operator with
mechanical issues. The father, an Illinois man, instructed the boy to stand
next to the jet ski while he himself left the water to retrieve an item to
help the other operator, the DNR said.
Instead the boy
climbed aboard his fatherís jet ski and pushed the ignition button, causing
the jet ski to move slowly forward. The boy became frightened, reached for
the handle bars, and in the same motion gripped the throttle, at which point
the jet ski accelerated rapidly and traveled up onto the beach, striking the
Mishawaka woman, who was sitting in a lawn chair approximately 30 feet from
the waterís edge, the DNR said.
The woman was
identified as Cherletta Chipps, 60, of Mishawaka. Cripps was transported to
Franciscan Health Michigan City for treatment of a serious foot injury, the
remains under investigation.