MITCHELL COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A two-year-old girl drowned in a tragic accident at Lake Colorado City on Friday evening. The family was from Midland, and said they were visiting family in the Big Country after another relative of theirs passed away.
Mitchell County Sheriff Patrick Toombs had a difficult time talking about the incident that happened on the evening of June 24th.
“For the whole community here, it’s a sad situation,” Sheriff Toombs said. “I’ve got grandkids that are in that age [range].”
The family went to the swimming area at the lake, where reportedly used a blow-up mattress as a raft.
“The police department received a 911 call of a girl that was missing,” Toombs detailed.
The grandmother and aunt were close to her in the water, but she fell off the mattress, and they could not find her. Other people at the lake began helping in the search for this little girl, but her body was still not found until after the sheriff arrived.
“We found a couple of life jackets,” said Toombs. “One was on the shore, and one was in the car, so she did not have one on.”
Police said the group of people who did find the toddler administered CPR to the toddler until an ambulance.
“It’s a sad situation for the family. Any time you lose a loved one it is, but to lose a child,” says Toombs.
The state park’s superintendent Leslie McGuigan was there while this was happening, explaining that it was difficult to handle. However, she is now encouraging others to wear life jackets and pay attention to their surroundings in the lake.
“As with most public open access water ways in Texas, there is no lifeguard on duty,” says McGuigan. “Wear your life vests, be observant of your surroundings, and be aware of everybody around you.”
Sheriff Toomb is encouraging the same for the community.
“Especially with the kids, they need to be wearing life jackets, and then for those that don’t know how to swim, they need to be wearing life jackets too,” says Toombs.
He says they have only had a couple of drownings at their lake in the past 10 years, and since their water levels increased last year, it has brought more people to the lake, making it even more crucial to practice safety measures.