Three people died from drowning and boating accidents on Kansas lakes over the weekend of Independence Day, 2011.
Two of the deaths occurred at Cheney Lake on Friday and Saturday. In the accident on Friday, a 13-year-old girl from Arizona, died in a wake boarding accident when she fell off and was struck by the boat’s propeller. In the accident on Saturday, 16-year-old Gabriel Salinas of Wichita, KS, drowned while wading out towards a buoy. A friend, who was wading with him, said that Salinas dropped off into deeper water, unable to make it to the buoy.
Sunday morning brought another death when Douglass County authorities recovered the body of a 7-year-old boy who had gone missing from Lone Star Lake on Saturday. He was last seen swimming with hundreds of others in a shallow area.
In the wake of the weekend tragedies, officials and lake-goers were working to ensure everyone’s safety over the July 4th holiday. Boaters were wearing life jackets and park personnel were reminding people to be safe and be more alert due to the large crowds.
Park Ranger Chris Becker said: “It just comes back to everybody has got to use some common sense and pay attention to what they are doing.”