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Archive for Friday, June 5, 2009

14-year-old boy flown to K.C. hospital with critical injuries after being pulled from river

Emergency crews work to rescue a trapped individual from the Kansas River Friday at the Bowersock Dam.

Emergency crews work to rescue a trapped individual from the Kansas River Friday at the Bowersock Dam.

June 5, 2009, 12:16 p.m. Updated June 5, 2009, 4:18 p.m.

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Boy trapped underneath log suffers critical injuries

Emergency responders rescued a 14-year-old Lawrence boy from the raging waters of the Kansas River Friday afternoon, after he became trapped under a large log. He then was flown to a Kansas City area hospital, according to police Sgt. Bill Cory. Enlarge video

Teen rescued from Kansas River

Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical officials work to save a teen trapped under a tree in the Kansas River east of the Bowersock Dam. Enlarge video

Friends wait nearby as emergency crews work to rescue a trapped individual from the Kansas River Friday at the Bowersock Dam.

Friends wait nearby as emergency crews work to rescue a trapped individual from the Kansas River Friday at the Bowersock Dam.

Emergency responders rescued a 14-year-old Lawrence boy from the raging waters of the Kansas River Friday afternoon, after he became trapped under a large log.

The boy nearly drowned and was taken with critical injuries to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford said. He then was flown to a Kansas City area hospital, according to police Sgt. Bill Cory.

Paramedics performed CPR for several minutes after the 20-minute rescue, before loading the boy into an ambulance.

“The officers and firefighters definitely risked their lives for this recovery,” Bradford said. “I hope it continues to be a recovery with a positive result.”

Firefighters, Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies and Lawrence police officers responded about 12:30 p.m. Friday to the spillway east of the Bowersock Dam. The call came in shortly after noon when the boy was clinging to and partially trapped under a log near where the river runs most rapidly past the dam.

Lawrence police later cordoned off the banks of the Kansas River with crime tape, where detectives worked to determine whether the incident was an accident or a crime. Bradford and Cory did not comment on how the teenager got in the water.

“It’s too early to say whether it’s an accident or not,” Cory said shortly after the rescue.

A large crowd watched from the river banks as fire officials moved the tree while holding onto the teenager; they were then able to pull the boy out of the water.

“An extremely scary situation,” said Ryan Rofkahr, a former firefighter who witnessed the rescue. “That current’s nothing to mess around with.”

Several people comforted one another on a pier, directly above where the rescue was taking place. Cory said officers have questioned four people who were with the boy, and the case remains under investigation.

The rescue happened in an area marked with large signs indicating danger, such as one that said: “Extremely hazardous, all access prohibited.”

“People don't really understand the force of water and what it will do,” Bradford said.

Comments

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

skadooshh, this is such great news!

I was worried about brain damage but apparently he's avoided that!

he really shot the odds and won, big time.

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skadooshh 4 years, 10 months ago

Ohh, oneflewover and password, his friends are just fine. Style doesn't determine personality or how good of a friend you are.

And I'm sorry, but I'm completely offended at the people who suggested he did that on purpose. I'm family of Joseph and he is such a good person, he would never do that.

Also, Thank you too all who prayed. :)

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skadooshh 4 years, 10 months ago

I just visited Joseph the other day and he is doing just fine. He's sore and has marks from logs and is suffering from a little lung damage (from the water and compressions that were done) but other than that, he's doing great. He's a very lucky guy.

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mommyoffour 4 years, 10 months ago

Has any one heard if this young man is ok? Just haven't heard any thing and just wondering. Hope he is doing well. My prayers are with him and his family and friends.

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esteshawk 4 years, 10 months ago

What does "goth" have to do with anything? they're kids out doing things kids in Lawrence have been doing for generations: walking along the dam.

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RidgeRunner 4 years, 10 months ago

KansasPerson (Anonymous) says…

"Wow, do you see on that video, right about 0:45, even one of the rescue workers nearly loses his footing in a relatively shallow area. That current is scary."

Kansas, It's the Moss, with help of the current that he is slipping on.

Anyone who spent time fishing the dam would put spikes on the bottom of their shoes/boots to prevent falling/spilling. I put field spike on my teva's after my close call, same spot as the above mishap, so I didn't worry about swimming with the fishes anymore.

The moss down there is slick. No two ways about it, you should be prepared for it if fishing, walking Bowersock.

Any news on this young man?

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jehovah_bob 4 years, 10 months ago

Password: Goth is soooo passe, it's Emo now.

BTW, according to the step-daughter, Joseph is up and responsive and will be returned to LMH in a day or two. I don't want to say more as the step-daughter is not the best primary source, but the prognosis sounds positive.

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password 4 years, 10 months ago

in looking at the picture of "friends wait nearby" there seems to be a hint of a gothic theme going on.

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grammaddy 4 years, 10 months ago

Prayers for the boy and his family. Big cheers for the responders!!

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Maxwell Butterfield 4 years, 10 months ago

They're good kids, oneflewover. That comment wasn't necessary.

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oneflewover 4 years, 10 months ago

Pictures say 1000 words, I think "Joseph" could stand to find a different group of "friends" to hang around.

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Maxwell Butterfield 4 years, 10 months ago

Okay, I can take back the statement about him jumping. I shouldn't have said that without really knowing anything.

And I want to say that I know the boy, and my prayers are with him and his family. I don't want anybody to think I was supporting andrew55's statement.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

I was afraid it was a boy I know, but it may not be if the info posted above is correct. but the point is: it could have been. we all know fourteen year old boys, and typical boys that age love to go and do things.

Andrew55, you are a jerk. I assume you passed your teen years with zero disobedience, zero dangerous choices and a perfect school record then? if so, you should be in a museum!

this kid is fourteen for God's sake!

hoping for a full recovery. hoping his family finds comfort and lots of support during this very hard time! and I agree with the poster above, I hope in fifteen years or twenty years he's sitting on the river bank fishing and telling his kids the story of what happened to him there.

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Maxwell Butterfield 4 years, 10 months ago

Heard from a friend that he threw himself off the bridge. Please don't take that as fact though.

And if it was an accident, I'm surprised that this hasn't happened yet. I see those teens hopping the fences and balancing on the edge of the dam, and with one slip, they would end up like this kid.

Maybe andrew55 isn't too far off in his statement. Not that this isn't a tragedy, I just hope that these kids learn to stay out of that area.

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justaverage 4 years, 10 months ago

As usual, people are posting that don't know sh*t about the facts of the situation. Nobody mentioned that the boy could have gone into shock at some point and that condition alone is very serious. Hope he is okay. Fast moving water is very dangerous, especially in that location!

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 4 years, 10 months ago

andrew's statement obviously was intended to be self-referential.

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webmocker 4 years, 10 months ago

andrew55: Is it possible that your comment is mean and unnecessary?

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andrew55 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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VoiceOfReason 4 years, 10 months ago

Prayers to the boy and his family and friends. I've certainly had my share of criticism of the LPD over the years, but you all went above and beyond to "protect and serve" today. Kudos and well done. I pray he recovers, but, if not, it certainly wasn't due to your lack of effort. Anyone with a child cries inside hearing of something like this. I'm glad to know our police will be there to respond, God forbid, next time.

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justtired 4 years, 10 months ago

my prayers are with the family. I know his mom and dad. They are good people.

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jehovah_bob 4 years, 10 months ago

I am using my step-dads account and I am one of his friends. Right now he is in the hospital he might suffer severe head damage and also he was on a machine breathing (i forgot what they are called) but I found out he is breathing by himself. I know those two girls in the picture too they are really freaking out. The kids name is Joseph. I really hope he is ok.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

repast, what a bizarro post! who's "Tommy?" a voice in your head?

"due respect" together with what you say about Corey! you presume to have all the info, and be superior to the police at assessing what happened?

repast, it is you who needs a reset button.

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cletus26 4 years, 10 months ago

i hope he is okay; y'all just remember that obedience is better than sacrifice.

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repaste 4 years, 10 months ago

Investigation Mr cory, foul play?, with all respect you are not so bright. Tommy is dead on, this is where kids and adults are drawn - i used to live near and have been right there often see all kinds people there everyday. Put barriers up city, we all go there. I know one kid with them, did the black fingernail polish throw you Mr Cory? That is the kind of place healthy kids go - danger aside. Prayers and cares for the kids, get a life Cory.

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repaste 4 years, 10 months ago

Investigation Mr cory, foul play?, with all respect you are not so bright. Tommy is dead on, this is where kids and adults are drawn - i used to live near and have been right there often see all kinds people there everyday. Put barriers up city, we all go there. I know one kid with them, did the black fingernail polish throw you Mr Cory? That is the kind of pl;ace healthy kids go - danger aside. Prayers and cares for the kids, get a life Cory.

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KansasPerson 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow, do you see on that video, right about 0:45, even one of the rescue workers nearly loses his footing in a relatively shallow area. That current is scary.

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RidgeRunner 4 years, 10 months ago

Just FYI while river talk: http://www.riversurfing.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1030&sid=c79dfe950c86da9158365277d5edb83e

My Father being the first to ever take me at a very young age to the Kaw river taught me, amongst others is, never fight the current.. A round about way of the method outlined in the above URL.

I love the Kaw River; my body will hopefully allow me to fish it my entire life, but it may also one day take my life.

Again, heart felt thoughts to the family of the young man, and I hope the young man, one evening while fishing with his children, can recount the crazy accident he had on the Kansas River.
All the best to a recovery!

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edjayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

I've also heard that in muddy rivers like the Kaw, MO, or MIss that you can't see underneath and I've heard accounts that there are strong currents like whirlpools that can suck you to the bottom and you can't get out.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

hey Kmat and other north lawrencians! imagine if this had happened during the soon coming time when 2nd and locust would be mostly closed, traffic detoured onto Elm!
today lots of emergency vehicles were blocking the first couple blocks of Elm off of 2nd!

this demonstrates why we need at least one fire engine parked in north lawrence! that way, gawkers on the bridge couldn't interfere with first responders!

today was a really crazy day, and the LDCFM boys and girls earned their pay today.

plus a couple of teens were seen playing on top of the new parking garage on new hampshire!

hey, summer's here, wahoo!

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oneforall 4 years, 10 months ago

I HOPE THIS YOUNG MAN IS OK..MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE FAMILY...

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RidgeRunner 4 years, 10 months ago

One word for the cause if I was to guess..

MOSS

It's very, very slick, then you slide.

Fishing is inherently dangerous..

I'm hopeful he will make a full recovery, and my heart goes out to the family of this young man.

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SouthernBelle 4 years, 10 months ago

Prayers for this boy and his family.

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classclown 4 years, 10 months ago

bearded_gnome (Anonymous) says…

tom, hypothermia can afflict somebody in 55F water. even 65F water if in there long enough. also, it comes on slowly and people suffering from it don't realize it until often too late.

===============================

To expand on what gnome said, even 80F water can cause hypothermia. As long as the water is cooler than your body, it will remove heat from your body. Water temperature is not an indicator of whether or not you can get hypothermia, but how quickly it can happen.

Word to the wise for anyone that may not already know...

If you're out swimming with your family or friends and you notice someone's lips starting to turn blue, get them out of the water. Their body is too cold and needs to be warmed up.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

kmat, oh yes, I wasn't discounting the people walking on the dam too.

these days, there are many teens walking on the levee, down by the dam, etc.

kudos to fire/police officers!

hope the boy recovers fully!

tom, hypothermia can afflict somebody in 55F water. even 65F water if in there long enough. also, it comes on slowly and people suffering from it don't realize it until often too late.

one guy I knew was a wheelchair user, had taken kinda a back trail at a university, after 5p.m. his wheelchair broke down. when the campus pd found him about midnight he was entirely comatose from hypothermia, requiring the flooding of the inside of his abdomen with moderately warmed saline. the weather that day was sunny, high of 70F, night time, about 50F, not much wind [this was california]. of course he was limited in his movements.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 10 months ago

"People don't really understand the force of water and what it will do," Bradford said.

Spot on statement. I am a strong swimmer, scuba diver etc and let me tell you, when people do not understand the potential currents in a river or the ocean, it can be very, very dangerous. The Mississipi or Missouri or Kansas are muddy and just inches under, who knows what lies, and currents like you'd never imagine. I went to college along the Mississipi and every year, a few people were taken by it---usually a drunk college student "wading" into a disaster waiting to happen. Respect the water!

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree ajs10, the brain starts to shut down real quick when breathing stops---hypothermia would be secondary, but I don't think the water is that cold now--if he had air and it doesn't sound like it. I hope he's gonna be OK. Nothing would be worse than the loss of a child, who was just out messin' around doing what kids do in the summer---having some fun. I worry about mine every time they get into that truck and drive off.

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ajs10 4 years, 10 months ago

Whats the water temp?...I think he would have to be in there a lot longer before they started to worry about hypothermia.

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kmat 4 years, 10 months ago

gnome - people walk out onto the dam area all the time. I walk my dog on the levee most days and usually see somebody out there, a lot of times kids. My husband and I have always said it will be a matter of time before someone slips and ends up in the river. Some kids think it's cool to try to walk out across the dam. Maybe parents should make sure their teenagers aren't roaming the city getting themselves nearly killed while on summer vacation.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

yes, hypothermia is I'm sure one concern.

the article indicates that lpd detectives are checking to see if a crime was involved? if so, there's a story there. caption says "friends" so, he, presumably "he" to describe the teen, wasn't alone when this happened.

boat/canoe go over the dam?

teen took in water, nearly drowned? seems most likely.

I sincerely hope this teen recovers fully.


ljworld: Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical officials work to save a teen trapped trapped under a tree in the Kansas River east of the Bowersock Dam.

thanks for prompt coverage though.

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classclown 4 years, 10 months ago

There's also the question of how long he was in the water. He may have suffered hypothermia.

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Tinkerbird 4 years, 10 months ago

Poor kiddo, my thoughts to you and your family!

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absolutelyridiculous 4 years, 10 months ago

oh gosh.

Jesse...check the spelling on your headline.

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Steve Jacob 4 years, 10 months ago

Any major to a minor they got to Children's Mercy.

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countrygirl 4 years, 10 months ago

So scary. My prayers for the teen and the family.

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smitty 4 years, 10 months ago

A life flight just landed at LMH ER just a few minutes ago. Don't know the facts on the flight but the timing is close.

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smitty 4 years, 10 months ago

A life flight just landed at LMH ER just a few minutes ago. don't know the facts on the flight but the timing is close.

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smartmomma 4 years, 10 months ago

crystalku said " I can't be sure"...I was on the north side and saw that he was def. on the stretcher.......

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Kufan57 4 years, 10 months ago

CrystalKU & Smartmomma did you both witnesss the same accident? Your accounts as to what happened differ quite a bit..

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Dayle Hodges 4 years, 10 months ago

Sooo dangerous. I am praying that he or she is going to be alright. I was always taught to respect (fear) the river. Especially near the dam.

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smartmomma 4 years, 10 months ago

I watched...after doing cpr for a good 20 min, they took him/her away on a stretcher. My thoughts and prayers are with this young teen.

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CrystalKU 4 years, 10 months ago

I just watched from the south dam and I can't be sure but it looked like he was walking with support from two officers/emts; they did take him away with sirens on. I hope I am right and he was walking.

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prospector 4 years, 10 months ago

They were showing it on the TV6 city hall cam until they pulled someone out and I hope are just checking out kid not doing CPR. They pulled the picture then. He was on the north bank.

good luck kid

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kmat 4 years, 10 months ago

I watch so many dumb people mess around on the dam. I'm surprised they don't end up rescueing more people from there.

Is the kid being decontaminated by a hazmat crew after being in that poluted water?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

With the river up, let's hope this kid isn't caught in the hydraulic below the dam.

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lowrentsKS 4 years, 10 months ago

Hang in there!!! (invision cat poster)

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