Eddyville Toddler Drowns at Tennessee State Park
By Kentucky News Network
EDDYVILLE; COOKEVILLE, TN - Rescue crews have recovered the body of a two-year-old western Kentucky boy who was swept away by high water at a popular Tennessee swimming hole.  
The body of Stephen Pierce of Eddyville was found Monday morning at Cummins Falls State Park in Jackson County.  
He was swept away as his family tried to cross high water at the park, and was not wearing a life jacket.

Multiple news outlets say the boy was being carried by his father Sunday evening when water levels quickly rose and swept them away. The father was rescued a short time later, but the son could not be found. 
Over an 18-hour period, authorities assisted more than 60 people who became trapped by high water at the park. Fourteen of them had to be evacuated by swift water boats and rope.

The park's Facebook page shows that the gorge area near the falls was closed on Friday and Saturday because of high water, but re-opened Sunday. The page said rain was possible, and the gorge would be evacuated and closed if water levels became dangerous.

The park was closed on Monday. 

J.R. Tinch, Assistant Chief Ranger at Tennessee State Parks, says the safety of their visitors is very important, and they have a large quantity of life jackets that are available for visitors to use while they are in the park. 

Tinch said, "It's unfortunate any time when you have any kind of fatality. Children are very hard. It's been a tough day for everyone involved, all of our park rangers, all of our rescue responders, all of our volunteers, and also the family."

Published 04:40 PM, Monday Jun. 10, 2019
Updated 09:17 PM, Tuesday Jun. 11, 2019



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