Community mourns local woman killed by boat while swimming

McKellar was known for rescuing animals
By Daniel Dunkle | Aug 03, 2018
Courtesy of: Alison McKellar Kristen A. McKellar died after being struck by a boat while swimming Aug. 2 at Damariscotta Lake.

Camden — Friends and family members were in shock Aug. 3 after the sudden, tragic death of Kristen A. McKellar of Camden.

McKellar, 32, was struck by a motorboat while swimming the evening of Aug. 2 at Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson, according to the Maine Warden Service.

She had been swimming with a friend near a privately owned camp on the lake at about 8:45 p.m.

The boat was driven by Jonathan D. Roberts, 43, of Waban, Mass., according to the press release from Sgt. Aaron Cross of the Maine Warden Service.

"Roberts and his passengers immediately attempted to render aid to McKellar and brought her to a nearby shore," the release states. Emergency medical technicians attempted to help McKellar on the shore.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Warden Service, Jefferson Fire and Rescue and Waldoboro EMS all responded.

News of the event on social media has led to an outpouring of concern and support from the community for McKellar's family.

Her sister, Alison McKellar, said she was devastated by the news and that Kristen had been her best friend.

Kristen grew up in Camden and Union, and she attended local schools, including Montessori, Mary E. Taylor Middle School and Camden Hills Regional High School. She studied at Stetson University in Florida.

She was passionate about rescuing animals in need and was involved in Maine Coast Animal Rescue.

"The whole family has animals that Kristen has asked us to foster 'temporarily,'" Alison said.

At one point Kristen saw a squirrel that had been injured flapping around in the street and brought it home, despite the belief on the part of others in the family that it was a lost cause. She fed the squirrel milk and slowly nursed it back to health. It would sleep with rescued pit bulls in her home. It was a friend of hers for a while before returning to the wild.

Alison said Kristen would also ride her motorcycle with a rescued dog on her back.

For work, she had done various things, including website design and carpentry. She was in the process of refurbishing a house in Belfast at the time of her death. Her sister recalled she was always taking on daunting challenges and amazing her family with what she could accomplish.

"Last night this world lost an unbelievably bright, beautiful soul in a tragic accident," Camden Select Board member Jenna Lookner said on Facebook. Lookner serves on the board with Alison. "...Kristen was a magical human being with deep compassion for all living creatures, an incredible wit, and a spirit that cannot be replicated. I am so lucky to have known her, to have grown up with the McKellar sisters. Kristen will never be far from my heart."

A fundraiser was started online in honor of Kristen for Maine Coast Animal Rescue by Jenna Lookner, Alison McKellar and Danielle Mills Blake. By Monday morning it had raised $11,490, above the goal of $10,000. It can be found on Facebook under the title: "Support Maine Coast Animal Rescue in honor of Kristen McKellar."

Kristen A. McKellar was known for her love of animals. (Courtesy of: Alison McKellar)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Aug 05, 2018 04:14

A very sad day for her family those that knew her ! No words can express the anguish they are feeling !

The who, what and why will come soon enough, RIP !



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Dan Dunkle
Editor
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and The Camden Herald.

 

He is author of the historical science fiction novel, "The Scrimshaw Worm," available through Amazon.

 

He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.

 

Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast since 1998.

 

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