USC senior, aspiring teacher who died in boating accident ‘could make a friend anywhere’

hcahill@thestate.comJuly 8, 2014 

Hailey Bordeaux

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Hailey Joanne Bordeaux was remembered Monday as someone who loved to work with children and a great leader.

Bordeaux, 21, of Sumter, a rising senior majoring in early childhood development at the University of South Carolina, died early Saturday after a July 4 boating accident on Lake Marion, the ninth boating death so far this year and the third on the Lowcountry lake.

A service for Bordeaux was planned for Monday afternoon.

SaraLouise Cromer, a rising junior at Clemson University who attended Sumter High with Bordeaux, said her friend wanted to become an elementary school teacher, which along with fishing and hunting, was something she loved.

“She loved kids so much,” said Cromer, who participated in competitive cheerleading team with Bordeaux in high school. “I don’t think anybody could find one thing bad about her. She could get along with anybody and she could make a friend anywhere.”

According to Capt. Robert McCullough of the Department of Natural Resources, Bordeaux was with her boyfriend and two others Friday, on a boat at a standstill near Scarborough Landing just before 1 a.m. Their boat was struck by another that was traveling in the area.

Bordeaux was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead around 1:40 a.m., according to Charles Jackson, a deputy coroner at the Clarendon County coroner’s office. There were no other reports of injuries from the accident.

So far, there have been no charges filed in connection with the accident, McCullough said, but the investigation is continuing.

“There is no speed limit on the lake; it is up to how fast you think you can control it,” McCullough said of Lake Marion. “There was no indication it was close to a no-wake zone.”

Some boating safety advocates warn that being on the water at night is more dangerous.

Four people died in a nearly simultaneous pair of late-night collisions on Lake Murray in May 2010.

Those crashes still reverberate today, as law enforcement officers are more aggressive in cracking down on the operation of boats on the 47,500-acre lake.

Bordeaux is survived by her parents, Shawn and Pamela Bordeaux, and her two sisters, Hillary and Hannah, all of Sumter.

In a statement released by the Phi Mu Fraternity, of which Bordeaux was a member, USC local chapter president Amanda Shepard said Bordeaux went above and beyond in becoming a teacher.

“One example of how much teaching meant to her was when her students were learning about reptiles,” Shepard said. “Her boyfriend had pet snakes and Hailey brought them to her classroom so the students could study them.”

Leanne Coyle, an assistant director at the University of South Carolina Child Development and Research Center, said Bordeaux was an energetic person who cared for her colleagues and the children she worked with.

“Our relationship with her was one of fond remembrance,” Coyle said. “She was a lovely person and it’s a very sad loss.”

 

Reach Cahill at (803) 771-8305

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