Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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July 9, 2013

UPDATE: Two tragedies overshadow weekend activities at PK Lake

(Continued)

“Before they called the scene a recovery or accident,” he noted, “they searched and loudspeakered everyone, which is quite amazing they did that so fast.”

“Nobody wants to cancel any kind of event,” he added. “I think they exhausted all possible efforts before they moved people out and they immediately started a recovery effort.”

Crews searched until 2 a.m. Sunday and resumed searching around 8 a.m., Pierce said. At 2:24 p.m. they found Culver’s body in 25-to-35-feet of water, using side-scan sonar. Humphries then made a positive identification and said he sent her body to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Immediately following the recovery of Culver’s body at Hells Gate, divers and support crews, including a family grief counselor, were dispatched from to Sandy Beach to find 3-year-old Terasas.

In both cases, drowning was tentatively listed as the cause of death.

With the summer just underway, the recreation season at PK Lake has experienced a seemingly high rate of drowning deaths.

“Our percentages [of drowning deaths] have increased this year over prior years,” said Humphries, who recalls a period when the lake “had only one drowning in nine years.”

“This is a real unfortunate year,” he said. “It’s tragic in my opinion.”

The weekends deaths mark 2013’s third and fourth potential drowning deaths in PK Lake.

In mid May, Azle resident Jose Juan Garcia, 35, died, also in the Hells Gate basin area, after he jumped into the lake off a Gaines Bend boat ramp at a home where he and others were working construction, according to Humphries.

At the time, Humphries said that when Garcia “became in distress,” both his colleagues and the resident homeowner promptly came to his aid. The homeowner quickly donned SCUBA gear and jumped in the lake to retrieve Garcia, he explained. However, he noted that efforts by those at the scene and by EMS workers, when they arrived, were ultimately unsuccessful.

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