SMARTSVILLE (CBS13) – A mother and her daughter have been identified as the victims of a fatal boat accident on Englebright Lake on Saturday night.

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department has identified them as 42-year-old Cynthia Peterlin of Penn Valley and her 12-year-old daughter Sophie Peterlin. Cynthia’s husband, 42-year-old Paul Peterlin, was driving their boat when it was struck by Jeffrey Sandow of Auburn. Paul was hurt in the crash and taken to the hospital.

Sandow, 53, was arrested on two counts of manslaughter in connection with the crash. He was reportedly driving a powerboat that struck the Peterlin’s boat on the lake at around 6:30 p.m.

One man in Sandow’s boat was also injured. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Sandow was intoxicated at the time of the accident, according to the sheriff’s department.

Sophie was an eighth grader at Mt. Saint Mary’s Academy in Grass Valley, where she played on the basketball team and was an outstanding student.

She was also on the board of her local 4-h club.

Family members were too upset to talk Monday, but the principal of Sophie’s school said she had been a student at Mt. Saint Mary’s Academy since fourth grade.

“School is a huge community,” her friend Renee Henslee said. “It’s just really sad.”

The principal said there were counselors at school Monday and a special prayer service in Sophie’s memory.

Renee Henslee’s roommate has a daughter in second grade at the school and Renee said the young girl is having a hard time understanding what happened.

“She was really active with school and everything and Lola loved her a lot,” Renee said. “She was really close to Sophie because eighth graders helped out with younger kids a lot.”

Sophie was also on the board of the Rough and Ready 4-H club.

Sandow was still behind bars Monday, charged with manslaughter.

People who knew the Peterlins are still shaken by their loss.

“It’s horrible, it’s so tragic,” Renee said. “People need to really wake up.”

A celebration of life service will be held for Sophie at the school on Friday.

Sandow will be arraigned in court as early as Tuesday.

Sophie’s father is still hospitalized in serious condition.


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