Coroner IDs victim in boating accident

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times
Haley Rinaldi

The Eagle County Coroner’s office has identified the 21-year-old woman who died Friday afternoon at Ruedi Reservoir as Haley Rinaldi, of Basalt.

Witnesses said a boat was pulling Rinaldi on a float tube behind a boat when the tow rope snapped, and the metal connector struck her in the head. The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m.

Basalt Fire Department spokesman Matt Avidan said the people on the boat started CPR immediately. Bystanders, including some medical personnel, also rendered aid. The first responders continued to administer CPR but could not revive Rinaldi.

According to Avidan, at least two other people, brothers of the victim, were on the boat at the time of the accident.

Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis has ruled the manner of death accidental, and the official cause of death will be determined after an autopsy.

Rinaldi was a 2010 Aspen High School graduate and played soccer at Waldorf College in Iowa as a freshman and sophomore. She transferred to Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids and played soccer there as a junior. Mount Mercy women’s soccer named her its “Newcomer of the Year” for 2012 after she had five goals and two assists.

There are dozens of messages on Facebook about Rinaldi from her friends. One of her teammates at Mount Mercy posted this:

“This girl light up a room the minute she walked into it. I will miss her beautiful smile, constant kindness, crazy nights, playing midfield together, lunch dates, & so much more. Play hard up there, baby, score me some goals since I can’t anymore.”

Another friend at Mount Mercy posted on Facebook: “You will forever live in my heart and memories!!! I love you so much!!! You changed my life the second I met you and I knew we would be great friends!!! You are in such a beautiful place and will be missed greatly!! RIP Haley and please know that you will forever live in my heart!!”