LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A kayaker was struck and killed by a boat in Marina del Rey has been identified as the chief of staff for the Los Angeles Department on Disability.
Nicole Willett, 46, of Venice was killed Monday afternoon after being struck by a 50-foot boat while kayaking near the south jetty in what authorities believe was likely an accident.
Willett is currently listed as the chief of staff and public information officer for the Department on Disability, according to city documents.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement: “The City of Los Angeles is deeply saddened by the loss of Nicole Willett. She will be remembered as a beloved colleague and friend, and an advocate for the community she served with passion as Chief of Staff for the Department on Disability. Nicole dedicated herself to making Los Angeles more accessible and equitable, and my thoughts are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
Coroner’s officials said the cause of death was determined to be multiple traumatic injuries and that Willet’s death was an accident.
Two people in their 60s were aboard the boat when it struck Willett in the no-wake zone, the sheriff’s department said. The boaters did not immediately realize they had struck the kayak until they were stopped by another boat and called 911, deputies disclosed.
The boaters were not cited or charged and the case is being treated as an accident, LASD reports.
Investigators do not believe the boat was speeding when it struck the kayak, nor do they suspect drugs or alcohol as a factor. The speed limit in the no-wake zone is 5 miles per hour.