TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Emergency crews say the site of Sunday’s drowning is very dangerous.
15-year-old Travis Williams was swimming in Madison Lakes Park when he went under the water. By the time emergency crews arrived, he had died
The signs outside clearly state, “NO SWIMMING” and authorities say these rules need to be followed because this lake is an old gravel pit and very dangerous.
“The cold water creates many problems with you swimming. The surface water may be warm but as soon as you go down very far, it becomes very cold. Your body’s ability to swim severely compromised very, very quickly and you are not able to untangle yourself from debris,” said Trotwood Fire Chief Steve Milliken.
This old gravel pit is also deceiving. The depth under the water is all over the place.
“Gravel pits are inherently dangerous. They are very, very deep. There are sharp rocks,” said Chief Milliken.
Those who run the park have posted signs that swimming is not allowed, but law enforcement said that is not working. Teens continue to visit and jump off this cliff into the water below.
“It’s very difficult to control. There’s fence around the properties, there’s warning signs, there’s large rocks where they can’t drive back in there, but children being children..will still find a way to get there,” said Chief Milliken.
The number of times police responded to this park in the past three years has gone up. There was a drowning in the same area in 2013.
Typically police issue warnings to the teens they catch taking a dip, but that is about to change.
“I believe we are going to have to start enforcing a little bit stricter and start citing people out here,” said Deputy Chief John Porter.
Deputy Chief Porter said it’s trespassing and that can carry up to 30 days in jail with a $250 fine.
“We want people to take this seriously,” said Dep. Chief John Porter.
The hope is to finally get a big message through to the youth of this area: that this is about their safety.
“It’s unfortunate circumstances and it’s gonna be a real, real hard lesson for a lot of people,” said Porter.
Porter says the park is open for hiking and fishing. He says people are just not allowed to swim.