A Southern California woman killed in a weekend boating accident became entangled in a rope tied to her sinking vessel and was pulled underwater after performing what her family is calling one final act of love — helping her daughter get to safety.
What was meant to be a weekend to celebrate life and love ended with a tragic farewell.
Tasha Turner, 30, from Hemet, was among seven people on a boat which sunk sometime after 6:30 p.m. Saturday near the Big River Park located just off the Colorado River, near the Arizona state line, according to Deputy William Poe.
The deputy said that Turner, boat operator Umberto Bagnara of Beaumont and five other passengers departed from the launch ramp at Big River Park to go tubing. However, the 19-foot "closed bow vessel" they were in "lost power and became swamped and started to sink," Poe said.
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Bagnara and five other passengers were able to swim away from the sinking vessel, but Turner was unable to free herself from a rope attached to the boat and was pulled beneath the water's surface.
"The boat was so heavy I believe it got tied up around her and pulled her in," Turner’s boyfriend Norris Salah said.
Turner handed her daughter to a passing jet-skier, the victim’s sister Myesha Turner said.
"Before her mom threw her, she gave her a hug and said, 'I love you. Goodbye.'"
Dive teams located the boat Saturday evening, but strong currents and poor lighting conditions led crews to cancel further dive missions until the following morning, Poe said. Turner's body was found after dive teams resumed their search about 7 a.m. Sunday.
Norris had a ring in his pocket and was ready to propose to Turner out on the water that weekend before the accident occurred.
"I love you very much. I love you," Norris said of his late girlfriend while fighting back tears.
The operator of the boat is cooperating with the investigation. Investigators are looking into if there were too many people aboard the boat.
Anyone with information was asked to call Poe at (760) 326-9200.
If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help Tasha Turner's family, you may do so here. Note that GoFundMe deducts 7.9 percent of all funds raised in the form of platform and payment processing charges.