Mesa teen killed in Kansas boating accident

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CHENEY, Kan. -- A 13-year-old Mesa girl was killed in a boating accident on Cheney Lake on south-central Kansas.

Nicole Whitney Smith, who went by Whitney, was wakeboarding with her family on Friday. When the boat that was pulling her turned around to pick her up, the propeller hit her in the head. She was dead by the time emergency crews arrived on the scene.

Calling it a tragic accident, Undersheriff Sheldon Stewart of Reno County said alcohol was not a factor in the incident.

The teen had been visiting relatives in the Wichita area.

"Words cannot express my sadness, my grief, my anger or my confusion at this time," Whitney's mom wrote on her Facebook page. "I picked out flowers to lay on her coffin. It seems there is no limit to how much I can suffer."

Whitney's funeral will be Thursday in Queen Creek.