Recent University of Miami graduate killed in airboat accident

Elizabeth Goldenberg, 22, dies after being ejected from airboat in Everglades

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Glenna Milberg - Reporter

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - A recent University of Miami graduate was killed Saturday in an airboat accident in the Florida Everglades.

Elizabeth Goldenberg and four other people were ejected from an airboat Saturday morning in the Everglades Wildlife Management Area, about 12 miles west of Krome Avenue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Robert Klepper said.

Goldenberg, 22, died from her injuries at Kendall Regional Medical Center.

"Definitely it's a shock for the community and it's heartbreaking. I can't imagine what the parents are going through," Henchi Fellig, whose husband is a rabbi and university chaplain, said. "She was just, like, that girl who walked in a room and lit up the room."

The other passengers on the airboat were identified as Steve Gagne, 52, of Miami, Dana Goldenberg, 20, Renee Flax-Goldenberg, 54, and David Goldenberg, 54, all of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania.

Fellig and her husband, who run UM's Chabad, were with the family at the hospital and will be at the funeral Tuesday in Goldenberg's Pennsylvania hometown.

"(It's) heartbreaking," Fellig said. "I can't imagine what her parents are going through." 

Goldenberg served as vice president of the Theatre Action Group at the University of Miami, from where she graduated days earlier.

The group shared a post about her death on Facebook, praising her involvement.

"Ellie was an incredible woman, who among many other amazing accomplishments served tirelessly as a TAG board member every year that she attended the University of Miami," the Facebook post said. "She graduated this year, serving as our vice president of TAG. The hours and thought she put into every event and every single piece of this organization (is) unmeasurable. … We love you, we miss you and we thank you for everything."

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