Teen killed on Lake Norman remembered as bubbly, friendly

A rock at a local high school is coated in pink for a rising senior who lost her life in a tragic boating accident.

"Sheyenne was a bubbly person, great personality, friendly," described Nicole Motley, a close friend of the victim’s family.

Sheyenne Marshall was boating with her boyfriend, three cousins and three girlfriends Saturday on Lake Norman.

Police said the 17-year old was knee-boarding around 8 p.m. when a boat driven by Keith Cerven hit and killed her. She was wearing a life jacket. Investigators said it appears the propeller struck her body.

"It's hard to accept the truth being the truth right now," Motley said.

IMAGES: Students remember classmate killed on Lake Norman

She spent time with the Marshall family Sunday.

“They're really struggling right now," she said.

According to Motley, Sheyenne's boyfriend tried to pull her closer to the boat when he saw Cerven's boat coming toward them and not slowing down.

"[Cerven] was approaching from behind the vessel and did not see the young lady on the knee-board. He was given a standard field sobriety test and was placed under arrest for boating while impaired,” said North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Sgt. Ron Robertson.

For now, Cerven is only charged with boating while impaired. More charges could come after police finish their investigation and meet with the district attorney; which may be in the next couple days.

Cerven bonded out of jail.

Channel 9 anchor Liz Foster went to a home his name is listed under in Mooresville, but no one answered.

Motley organized a vigil Sunday night at Cox Mill High School, where Sheyenne was going to be a senior this fall.

"Life without her is going to be very hard," Motley said.

An autopsy on Sheyenne is schedule for Tuesday.

So far this year, there have been 21 boating deaths in North Carolina.