Glen Allen student killed in James River tubing accident remembered as 'sweetest person'

Julia Budzinski Vigil
Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 16:23:43-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – A vigil was held to honor a 17-year-old Glen Allen High School student who died in a tubing accident on the James River.

Sources told WTVR CBS 6 that Julia Budzinski was killed after falling from her tube into the river Saturday.

"After the girls fell off of the tube, and the operator was on his way back to get them out of the water, the boat hit a wave causing it to be pushed on top of [Budzinski] striking her with the propeller," a DWR spokesperson wrote in an email. "The operator immediately jumped into the river to rescue the victim, as did another passing boat operator. Once they got the girl out of the water, they rushed back for help."

Budzinski was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Neither foul player nor alcohol was considered a factor in the incident, according to investigators.

"DWR sends their condolences to the friends and family during this unimaginable time," the email concluded.

SCENE VIDEO: Glen Allen High student killed in James River tubing accident

Budzinski was an athlete at Glen Allen High School, according to those sources.

She is the daughter of former University of Richmond baseball player and Toronto Blue Jays Coach Mark "Bud" Budzinski.

Julia Budzinski Vigil
Vigil at Glen Allen High School remembers Julia Budzinski.

A moment of silence was held at Sunday's Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays game.

The team released a statement offering their condolences to the family.

"The Budzinskis have been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons. This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization and we grieve alongside Bud and his family," Ross Atkins, Toronto Blue Jays General Manager and EVP of Baseball Operations, said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark and Monica, and their children Josh and Lily, at this time."

Those who knew the teen gathered at the high school's football field Sunday evening to share memories.

"She was the sweetest person," one young woman said. "I remember when she would congratulate me... it just put a smile on my face."

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.



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