3-year-old drowns at Patoka Reservoir

Herald Staff Writer

PATOKA RESERVOIR — Indiana conservation officers investigated a drowning Monday afternoon that claimed the life of a Jefferson County toddler.

The incident that took the life of Jayce Stallings, 3, Deputy, occurred at 3 p.m. near Patoka Reservoir’s Little Patoka Boat Ramp.

Several boats were anchored together offshore along with the boat from which the boy had been swimming just prior to the incident, according to authorities. Statements obtained from those at the scene indicated that the victim was wearing a life jacket while swimming but it was removed after he exited because he was reportedly cold and wanted to warm up.

After one of the boats left the group, conservation officers said, it was noticed that the boy was missing and a search ensued.  He was last seen sitting along the edge of the boat on a cooler just prior to going missing.

Authorities said the victim was located at 4:08 p.m. by conservation officer divers. He was transported to Harrison County Hospital by Crawford County Emergency Medical Service personnel. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, English Volunteer Fire Department and Air Evac helicopter ambulance service assisted.

 In the wake of the drowning, conservation officers urged everyone to wear life jackets in or around all waterways, whether swimming, in a boat or along the shore.

Contact Bill Powell at bpowell@dcherald.com.

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