HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — An 11-year-old girl killed Wednesday in a boating incident on the Intracoastal Waterway was the daughter of a former New England Revolution soccer player, according to Nexstar’s WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Olivia Knighton of Massachusetts was among nine people thrown overboard when their 23-foot boat was hit by a large wake from another boat on the Intracoastal Waterway, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. There were 12 people on the boat at the time, and no one else was hurt.
Knighton was hit by the propeller after being thrown overboard, the DNR said. She died at a local hospital after the incident, which happened at about 12:15 p.m. in the area of Waterfront Avenue, according to Horry County Fire Rescue.
“We are in the process of a detailed inquiry that includes collecting witness statements, examining the boat and working to develop a complete picture of what happened,” the DNR said. “Our thoughts are with the child’s family and loved ones.”
Brad Knighton posted on Twitter early Thursday afternoon that “there are no words to express the depth of our profound grief and sorrow in this moment.”
“Our family is still in shock at the sudden and tragic loss of our beautiful and brilliant daughter, Olivia, to an unfortunate boating accident yesterday. We are all still in disbelief that her bright and pure light was taken away from us so suddenly. Somehow we will get through this as a family.
“Olivia loved soccer and the Revolution with all of her heart. Our family always felt your support behind us during my career. We will need you and your prayers with us now more than ever.”
Knighton also posted about his daughter on his Instagram account, which has several photos of the family.
Brad Knighton, a goalkeeper, played most of his MLS career with the Revolution, starting in 2007. He retired in January.
Caleb is a digital producer at News13. Caleb joined the team in January 2023 after graduating from Liberty University. He is from Northern Virginia. Follow Caleb on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.
Dennis Bright is a Digital Producer at News13. He joined the team in May 2021. Dennis is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Follow Dennis on, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.