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Profound shock, grief over watercraft death of Westwood ‘angel’

Photo Credit: Nevada Dept. of Wildlife
Photo Credit: Nevada Dept. of Wildlife

TRIBUTE: Friends and loved ones remained shocked and grieving today over the accidental death of a 52-year-old Westwood grandmother – and Glen Rock native — in a watercraft crash on Lake Tahoe yesterday.

“Words cannot express the profound loss that was endured yesterday when a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to many suddenly was taken away from us,” Mary Carpenter DiBenedetto of Washington Township wrote of her good friend, Dawn Finn.

“Always with a smile on her face and genuine to everyone she came in contact with,” wrote Cathy Vosburgh-Ace. “God truly received an angel.”

“Life will never be the same without her,” added Lori Hegner Woods of Westwood.

Dawn (Maurer) Finn and her family were at the small vacation town of Incline Village, Nevada, for a wedding when the accident occurred, authorities said.

Several loved ones were on the beach, about 200 yards from where Finn’s machine – similar to a Jet Ski — collided with one being ridden by her 21-year-old daughter, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife said.

Finn was killed instantly, he said.

The watercraft was similar to this one (Courtesy: Nevada Dept. of Wildlife)

“This is just a tragic accident,” the spokesman, Edwin Lyngar, told Lake Tahoe News .

“Our hearts go out to the family involved. It’s just horrific,” said Lyngar, who is with NDOW’s law enforcement division. “[These] are very powerful machines and can be very dangerous.”

Nevada law requires riders to multiply the length of a craft by five to determine how apart they must remain.

“We are not exactly sure what happened. At some point they collided,” Lyngar said. “We have taken possession of the two watercraft. We are looking at them trying to reconstruct what was happening.”

Funeral arrangements were being made for Finn, who counted among her joys her 16-month-old grandson (photo above).

Meanwhile, DiBenedetto said: “During this time we need to have faith and be strong for each other so that we can remember her in a way that she would want us to… with love and strength.”

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