An up and coming cheerleader for North Eugene High School died recently in a freak beach accident. Aurora Genai Sheffel, 14, was on an outing with friends to celebrate making the team as a freshman, which is a rare occurrence. The kids were on spring break, hanging out at South Jetty Park Beach in Brandon, according to a report from seventeen.com. They were standing on a large log with the tide out. Unfortunately, even though the tide was out, at approximately 4 p.m., a wave unexpectedly came onshore and washed over the log. Aurora’s friends were able to jump from the log and avoid danger, but she was knocked off. Somehow, she ended up pinned underneath.
There were other people present who helped move the log off of her and call emergency services. Paramedics came and attempted to revive her, but she sadly died at the hospital.
The wave that came even though the tide was out is known as a “sneaker wave.” They are waves that are much stronger than the waves that precede them and come after, and can come without any warning. They can be dangerous enough on their own, but when a loose log is added to the equation, they can become deadly. Oregon State Police said that logs on the beach can weigh “tons” because of the water they absorb when the tide is in. They also have a tendency to roll because of waves and the shifting sand beneath them. According to the report from Seventeen, 17 people since the turn of the century have died as a result of sneaker waves.
Aurora leaves behind her mother and father, a stepmother and stepfather, and three siblings, all younger. David Wederquist, her stepfather, said, “she was just a great kid; you couldn’t ask for one better.” The girls were apparently just taking pictures together and laughing on the beach before the tragic wave came in.
Accidents happen, and they are rarely predicted. However, that doesn’t mean that no one can be at fault or be held accountable. In Aurora’s case, most likely it was simply an accident. However, the family may want to obtain legal representation to look at their options. Perhaps the log was left there by a negligent municipal worker? Or maybe it will turn out that a bystander had pushed her? These are probably not the case, but factors such as these certainly play a part in thousands of accidents every year.
Being injured, or supporting a loved one who was injured, is incredibly stressful at the best of times. Dealing with other responsibilities, such as insurance claims and potentially filing a lawsuit to hold accountable those who are responsible, are jobs best left to the experts. Schlesinger & De Villeneuve will fight for you and handle those stressful responsibilities. There is no reason that you shouldn’t have someone on your side, protecting your rights. Give them a call today and let them fight for you.
 

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