Theme Parks, Natural Water, and Drowning Accidents

More drowning, near-drowning, and aquatic accidents occur in the month of July than in any other month of the year. Although most of these actions will occur at public recreation areas such as beaches, lakes and other “inland” waterways, a significant number of accidents will occur at ‘waterparks” or municipal swimming pools.

In today’s post, the drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm will review several general locations that were the sites of drowning and/or aquatic accident injuries during July. He will then offer suggestions that may be of interest to accident victims and their families who wish to hold waterpark owners liable for the consequences of such injuries.

The Accidents

The following accidents represent less than 1% of all aquatic accidents reported during July of this year. The locations of these accidents are, however, representative of the sites where most drowning and near-drowning accidents occur.

  • July 3rd and 5th
  • Turner Falls Park
  • Davis, OK

As we previously noted, two adult visitors at Oklahoma’s Turner Falls Park drowned within days of each other. Turner Falls, which is owned and operated by the City of Davis (OK), has been the site of at least 5 other accidental drowning deaths since 2016.

  • July 4th
  • BSR Cable Park and Surf Resort
  • Waco, TX

KWXT-TV, among other news sources, reported that around 10:00 p.m. on July 4th, first responders were called to the BSR Cable Park and Surf Resort on a report of a possible drowning at the park’s wave pool. Upon arrival, they were informed that 42-year-old Christopher Hayes had been pulled from the water near the pool’s water intake pipe. Although he was making breathing efforts, Hayes remained unresponsive and was transported to a local hospital. Unfortunately, Hayes never regained consciousness and died after being taken off life support on July 6th.

  • July 25th
  • Splash Kingdom Family Waterpark
  • Shreveport, LA

KSLA-TV and other local sources reported that at around 5:00 p.m., first responders were called to a report of “CPR in progress” at the Splash Kingdom Family Waterpark in West Shreveport, LA. Upon arrival they were informed that 13-year-old Kendall Williams had been found unresponsive in one of the facility’s swimming pools. Despite the efforts of both the facility’s staff and first responders, Williams died a short time later at a local hospital.

  • July 25th
  • Rock River Rapids
  • Derby (Wichita), KS

Local sources reported that an unnamed 9-year-old girl was in critical condition and under a medically-induced coma at a Wichita hospital following a near-drowning at Rock River Rapids, a public waterpark owned by the City of Derby (KS) Recreation Commission.

  • July 26th
  • Fantasy Lake Water Park
  • Hope Mills, NC

According to WTVD-TV, Eddie Gray of Guilford County died after allegedly becoming infected with Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” on July 12th while swimming at  Fantasy Lake Water Park in Hope Mills, NC.


The above-mentioned incidents represent the most common locations of drowning accidents reported during a typical summer:

  • Turner Falls: naturally occurring recreation area owned and operated by a local government
  • Rock River Rapids: artificial recreation area owned and operated by a local government
  • BSR Cable, Splash Kingdom, and Fantasy Lake: privately owned and operated artificial recreation areas

Regardless of the type of facility, our common law generally holds the facility owner responsible for ensuring the safety of each visitor. In other words, if an accident occurs at a facility, and it can be shown that the facility owner’s negligence contributed to the visitor’s injury, the owner can be held liable for that injury and may be ordered to pay damages to the victim.

The question of liability in a drowning accident can be difficult to establish and will often require an in-depth investigation that will require resources that are simply unavailable to most accident victims or their families. Fortunately, The Doan Law Firm has years of experience investigating drowning accidents and has access to nationally-recognized experts in the field and the services of experienced accident investigators,

Injured in an aquatic accident? Contact a drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer!

Drowning accidents are rarely due to a single “cause” or factor. As a personal injury law firm, we have handled many drowning accident cases where our investigation has led to the identification of factors that were not discovered during the initial investigation of an accident. This is simply because the job of law enforcement is to make sure that a drowning accident was not the result of some criminal activity. Once the local authorities are satisfied that a death was “accidental,” their investigation ends!

If a member of your family were injured in a drowning accident, whether in a privately-owned waterpark or at a public recreation facility, we invite you to contact the drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national personal injury law practice with offices located throughout the country.

When you contact our firm, your case review and first consultation with our drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer is always free and does not obligate you hiring us to act as your legal counsel. Should you decide to file a lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries or other losses,  and that you would like to have us represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.