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Boat crash victims ID’d

Penn Valley is reeling after a tragic boating accident on Lake Englebright Saturday night, resulting in the deaths of two beloved members of the rural community.

Cynthia Peterlin, 42, and her daughter, Sophi Peterlin, 12, were killed when a boat piloted by Paul Peterlin, 42, was struck by a watercraft allegedly operated by 53-year-old Jeffrey Sandow of Auburn, Lt. Damon Gil, spokesman for the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office, told the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.

Paul Peterlin, Cynthia Peterlin’s husband, was transported to Sutter Roseville Hospital. He was listed in serious condition Monday afternoon, according to a hospital spokesperson.



Sandow was arrested in connection with the accident, which occurred at about 6:30 p.m., said Gil. Sandow was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the incident.

“Sophi was a bright girl. She was very smart.”

— Edee Wood




‘An outstanding family’

“They are an outstanding family,” said Penn Valley resident Bob Winters.

Winters said Paul and Cynthia Peterlin had three children, two boys, Alek and Brock, and daughter, Sophi, who was attending Mount St. Mary’s Academy in Grass Valley.

“We are praying together, spending time together and keeping the Peterlin family in our prayers and our thoughts,” said Edee Wood, principal of Mount St. Mary’s.

The school has provided grief counselors for the student body, many of whom are grieving at the news, Wood said. All sporting events are canceled for the week, Wood said, as Sophi Peterlin was a member of the girls basketball team.

“She was just a happy-go-lucky kid,” said John McDaniel, Nevada Union High School’s varsity girls basketball coach who also had served as Sophi Peterlin’s coach. “She was very friendly.”

McDaniel said he has not spoken with the Mount St. Mary’s team in the wake of the tragedy.

“Sports are not important right now,” he said.

Mount St. Mary’s will host a celebration of Sophi’s life Friday for friends of the Peterlin family, Wood said.

“Sophi was a bright girl. She was very smart,” she said, adding that Sophi always seemed happy and loved to be surrounded by her friends.

“She ran track and played basketball and represented Mount St. Mary’s in numerous academic activities,” Wood said.

The entire family was involved in the community as the two boys both served as Eagle Scouts and performed community service projects.

Case continues

The cause behind the accident remains under investigation, but officers were able to salvage the two involved boats from the water in order to determine facts related to the collision, Gil said Monday.

Sandow was arrested on two counts of vehicular manslaughter with special circumstances. Information pertaining to Sandow’s blood alcohol level was not released.

Sandow posted $100,000 bail Monday and is scheduled to appear in court 9 a.m. Oct. 16, according to the Appeal-Democrat.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email mrenda@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.


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