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Flying Fish Kills Girl, 5, on Fla. River

Jaylon Rippy was boating with her family
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Suggested by No-Left-Turn
Posted Jul 5, 2015 7:00 AM CDT
Flying Fish Kills Girl, 5, on Fla. River
A large sturgeon leaps from the water June 15, 2007 on the Suwannee River at Branford, Fla. These fish reach a length of 8 ft., weighing 200 lbs.   (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

(Newser) – Florida's leaping sturgeon have occasionally proven more than a little hazardous to boaters on its Suwannee River, but the latest incident is as tragic as it is unprecedented: 5-year-old Jaylon Rippy was boating with her family late last week when a flying sturgeon—which can reach 8 feet and tip the scales at 200lbs.—hit her, killing her and injuring her mom and 9-year-old brother, Trevor, reports NBC News.

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"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time," a rep with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tells the Suwannee Democrat Bulletin. "This is a terrible tragedy." Jaylon's is the first recorded death on the river caused by a sturgeon, though four people have been injured so far this year. Her family has set up a GoFundMe account. (Read more sturgeon stories.)

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