A 12-year-old rural Bellevue girl described as “sweet” and “sassy” by family died Sunday afternoon following a UTV accident.
Ilah Portz, daughter of Tony and Valerie Portz, died April 25 from injuries sustained after a utility task vehicle she was on rolled, according to a statement
from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
At 3:22 p.m. April 25, emergency personnel responded to a report of a juvenile involved in a utility task vehicle accident on private property at 14802 328th Ave., about a mile west of Springbrook. The property belongs to her parents.
Medical personnel attempted extensive lifesaving measures at the scene. Air care was requested but not utilized after resuscitation attempts failed. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the accident and will release more information when the investigation is complete.
The sheriff’s office, DNR, Bellevue Emergency Medical Services, and Springbrook Fire & Rescue assisted at the scene.
Ilah attended sixth grade in the Andrew Community School District. District
officials sent information home with students and posted on its website, offering
tips about how to talk with children about death. District officials asked additional counselors from surrounding districts, including Maquoketa, to be onsite to “help our school community deal with this loss,” according to the school website.
The website, andrew.k12.ia.us, also provides additional resources such as websites and local therapists to contact if help is needed.
Michelle Thines, Ilah’s aunt, described the 12-year-old as “one sweet, sassy
girl” on a social media post. Her former dance teacher said Ilah was a “spunky little one.”
Many family and friends described Ilah as a “beautiful soul” and “sparkling and
vivacious” and sent prayers and supportive messages to her family.
Ilah’s father Tony is the vice president of ag-business banking with Citizens
State Bank, where a memorial/scholarship fund has been set up in her name.
Donations may be dropped off at any Citizens State Bank location in Maquoketa, Wyoming,Oxford Junction or Olin.
Venmo users may donate at @Ilahportz7 with the last four digits of the phone