Two Toddlers Drown In Two Different East Tennessee Lakes

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Two separate drowning incidents took two young lives over the weekend in Jefferson County.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office said that 3-year-old Tameria Richardson, from Alabama, drowned at the TVA swimming area at Douglas Lake on Saturday evening and on Sunday, another 3-year-old drowned outside a home off Cherokee Lake in Jefferson County.

“It’s sad for the family when you lose someone. It’s hard to deal with the loss even if it’s an adult, but these are children,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig.

He said that the mother of the boy went to the store and left her children in the care of their grandfather. The 3-year-old went outside and wandered off.

“It was sad when the grandfather was in the water next to the dock in case the child had fell off the dock and he found the child under the dock, under the water,” McCoig said.

He said that a tragedy like this can happen in a split second.

It’s very important that the 3-year-olds are watched if you have them at home trying to watch them. It’s good to have an alarm on your door to see if your door comes open and the child goes out if you don’t have them inside at all times,” he said.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesperson Matt Cameron also said it’s against the law for anyone under 12 to not wear a life jacket while boating.

“That law has probably saved numerous children’s lives over the years because we don’t lose that many kids to boating accidents fortunately,” Cameron said.

Thus far in 2017, there have been 8 boating deaths statewide. Seven people drowned and none of them were wearing life jackets.

Whether your kids are on the boat or swimming, a life jacket can be the one thing that saves their life.

“It’s for their own safety, everyone’s safety,” McCoig said.

Swimming lessons for children ages 1-4 can also reduce the risk of drowning by more than 80 percent.


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