Leawood lawyer killed in southwest Florida water scooter crash

LEAWOOD, Kan. - A family vacation turned into a tragedy after a Leawood man's deadly jet skiing accident.

Now neighbors and friends are coping with the loss of 54-year-old Lee Hollis, a prominent lawyer and admired husband and father.

It's easy to look back on the good moments.

"I mean when the boys, when the oldest... was five, Lee would start pitching to him and playing and having him hit baseballs and that area became kind of like a baseball field," said John Cowan about his front door neighbor.  

Good is the most prominent word Cowan uses to describe his neighbor. What's hard for his family is realizing their friend is never coming back.

"Shocking," said Lisa Cowan, "you know such startling information just the night before Christmas."

Like many other times, Hollis was in southwest Florida on vacation with family, but on Sunday, he was jet-skiing with his son when he ran into a boat. He lost part of his leg and died a day later in the hospital.

His son, Mark, saw the whole thing.

"Christmas will probably never be the same for them," said Lisa.

Cowan and her husband has known the Hollis family for 15 years and she said no matter how busy Lee was with work, he always made time for his sons.

"I know he's leaving with those boys just a great example of integrity and good character," she said.

The news has come as a shock to the entire neighborhood, especially the day before Christmas, when many around the neighborhood are just finding out.

"We just go about our days thinking, you know, in our own little worlds," said Cowan, "and this wakes you up and reminds you of how important those around you are."

Hollis had his own law firm where he represented clients who were injured from prescription drugs and medical devices.

According to his profile on the Hollis Law Firm website, he worked for Sprint prior to opening his own business. 

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