COMAL COUNTY, Texas - Capt. Marvin Tamez, the supervisory game warden for Nueces and San Patricio counties, said Texas Parks and Wildlife is handling Friday's boating fatality near Aransas Pass as an accident, pending the boat operator's blood alcohol test results.
Tamez confirmed 16-year-old Kali Gorzell fell off the boat after making a quick turn and was struck by the propeller.
He said the Smithson Valley High School student was among three teenagers on a boat driven by the father of one of the passengers on board.
Gorzell's funeral arrangements were being finalized, according to family members.
Her friends at Smithson Valley High School said they have adopted the slogan "Live Like Kali" as words to live by. Those words are now emblazoned on the windows of many of their pickup trucks.
"She lived an amazing life. She was happy. She put others before herself. She lived life to her fullest," said Carly Mocyzygemba, a senior on the school's volleyball team.
Admired both on and off the volleyball court, Gorzell played on the freshman "A" team, Moczygemba said.
"'Live like Kali' means go out of your way to make everyone feel special and feel loved," said Meghan Uecker, a SVHS volleyball senior.
Logan Bienek, also a senior on the team, said judging by how Gorzell lived her life, "God takes people away whenever they've done their duty, whenever they've done their job."
All three agreed, "We're going to play for her in volleyball. It's all going to be about her this season."
John Montelongo, the school's principal, said he will always remember Gorzell's radiant smile and enthusiasm.
"We lost a true Ranger and our family is not going to be the same," he said.
Montelongo said the hardest part is knowing that Gorzell's future will not be fulfilled.
He said, "It was bright. It was as bright as any future as I have seen."
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