Wake County neighbors use caution at Falls Lake after 8-year-old drowns

Monday, July 20, 2020
Wake County neighbors use caution at Falls Lake after 8-year-old drowns
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The American Red Cross estimates 10 people drown every day-- and on average-- at least two of those victims under the age of 14.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Safety experts say it's critical for people to wear life vests in the water, especially children. Drownings are a leading cause of death in children, according to the American Red Cross.

On Saturday afternoon, people gathered at Falls Lake, some wearing life vests, others not.

Kimberly and Stewart Price had their life vests enjoying July's scorching heat.

"It's an awful boring summer," Mrs. Price said.

"But we can come out here and social distance," Mr. Price added.

The married couples staycation at Falls Lake included watching their daughter Victoria jet skiing.

"We've always loved the lake," Mrs. Price said.

But tragedy hit Falls Lake this weekend when an 8-year-old child drowned. Investigators say it happened Saturday near the bridge on New Light Road. Relatives tried to save the boy and were injured in the struggle.

RELATED: Wake County Sheriff's Office investigating after 8-year-old drowns at Falls Lake

Two family members who had tried to rescue the child were also taken to WakeMed with injuries that did not appear to be serious, according to the sheriff's office.

"My heart also goes out to the family," Mrs. Price said. "As a school teacher, you know, that just makes me think about the students I have out in school."

Those heartbreaking details were heavy on the minds of Scott and Dana Fields Sunday, as they played in Falls Lake with their three teenage sons.

"I saw it on the news this morning. I was telling her about it. It's a horrible situation," Scott said.

"Our boys are out there with vests on. It's mandatory," Dana said. "We won't let them go out there without them."

Safety experts say it is critical for children to wear a life vest to avoid tragedies like yesterday.

The Red Cross estimates for every child that drowns, another five are pulled from the water and rushed to the emergency room with serious injuries.

And the disaster response group also says, 10 people drown every day-and on average at least two of those victims under the age of 14.

Sunday ABC11 met Lay and Kendall who were cautiously enjoying Falls Lake for the first time.

"We have a boat. We're just here hanging out on the boat," Lay said.

"Definitely not getting off the boat," Kendall said.

Wake County investigators are still working to find out what led up to the 8-year-old's drowning.

Officials say they will not release the child's identity.