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Two victims of Bass Lake boating accident identified by family

Bass Lake, where a 7-year-old girl was killed and her father injured in a Labor Day boating accident.
Bass Lake, where a 7-year-old girl was killed and her father injured in a Labor Day boating accident. Sierra Star archive

Seven-year-old Lily Harris was identified as the child killed in a Labor Day boating accident on Bass Lake, and her father, Brandon Harris, was identified as the man who was injured.

Brandon Harris, 32, and his daughter were struck by a boat while tubing on the lake. Lily had CPR administered to her by emergency personnel on the scene before both she and her father were airlifted to a hospital, where Lily was pronounced dead.

The accident was reported around 3 p.m. Monday and, according to a Madera County Sheriff’s Office news release, Lily and her father were being pulled by a privately owned ski boat when they were struck by a pontoon boat.

Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to have been a factor in the accident, the sheriff’s office said.

According to Harris’ Facebook page, the family is from Fresno and maintains a residence in Bass Lake. The driver of the pontoon boat, whose identity has yet to be revealed, is from San Mateo and also maintained a residence in Bass Lake, the sheriff’s office said.

Elisa Skinner, 28, of Los Angeles, is a registered EMT and tended to Lily until medical officials arrived on the scene. She was vacationing with her family.

She recalls Brandon pulling into the Bass Lake Boat Rentals and Watersports marina with Lily as he yelled “Call 911!” She described the atmosphere at the time of the accident as “chaotic.”

Having a 5-year-old daughter of her own, Skinner said she felt “absolutely terrible” about the family’s loss.

“It just really makes you value life and you just realize how fragile it is,” Skinner said.

Skinner was one of the many to donate and comment on Lily’s GoFundMe page, which was created on Tuesday by her aunt, Amanda Perez, to raise money for Lily’s funeral costs.

“She was a beautiful, happy seven year old girl just shy of her eighth birthday,” reads the GoFundMe page.

Originally, the goal was to raise $10,000, but with $15,000 raised by Wednesday morning, that goal is now $20,000.

There was an outpouring of sympathy for the family on the page.

“Lily is such a beautiful and precious little girl. God speed Brandon, to you and your family,” posted Skinner.

Others reflected on the safety of their own children.

“What a horrific tragedy. I was at Bass Lake this weekend with two other families and we all have children around Lily’s age. I will keep your family in my prayers,” posted Marci Sohan.

The accident remains under investigation, with no one taken into custody as of Tuesday night. The parties involved in the accident are all cooperating with the investigation, according to the sheriff’s news release.

If anyone has information on this case, they are encouraged to call the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770.

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