TRAVERSE CITY — A girl killed in a boating accident in northeast Michigan was a Williamsburg resident and honor student at East Middle School.
Autumn Rose Prohaska, 11, was remembered this week as a very promising child who loved animals.
“I want her to be remembered for her big, bright smile, her compassion, her caring, and her love,” Autumn’s mother, Michelle Prohaska, said Tuesday. “She would always put others first … that was my Autumn.”
Jason Moore coached Autumn Prohaska on the Traverse City-based TC Breakers swim team. Moore said Autumn was an incredibly helpful, kind-spirited youth.
“She was a happy-go-lucky kid, very bubbly,” Moore said. “Autumn was always helping putting things away, always helping out, following me around the pool deck at practices.”
Alcona County Sheriff Doug Atchison said Autumn was among three youths riding on a tube pulled by a boat on Hubbard Lake Saturday when the tube struck a jet ski. Autumn Prohaska was pronounced dead at Alpena Regional Medical Center. The other children, 8 and 14, suffered minor injuries.
Atchison said an investigation is ongoing, but all facts point to an accident. Autumn’s father was driving the boat at the time and witnesses said a man driving the jet ski had stopped the device just prior to the collision. Alcohol was not a factor.
“I do not anticipate any criminal charges,” Atchison said.
Michelle Prohaska said her family has a summer place on Hubbard Lake and, a few weeks ago, Autumn went on a “wonderful” trail ride with a close friend in the area. She’d also recently gotten a puppy named Daisy Mae.
“Autumn was a hard-working and involved student,” said Steve Urbanski, principal at East Middle School, in an email sent to the Record-Eagle. “What we will remember and miss about her most was that she always had a smile on her face. All of us at East Middle School are saddened by this loss. Our hearts go out to her family.”
Visitation will be at the Bannan Funeral Home in Alpena on Friday from 2 to 8 p.m. with a parish prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Saturday at St. Anne Catholic Church in Alpena from 10 a.m. until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m.