Petition calls for permanent closure of beach where teen drowned
A Jefferson County beach remains closed as officials review safety at the site where a teenager recently drowned.
In late May, 14-year old Devon Cotton drowned at Rockford Beach Park, while swimming above a dam in the Big River.
County officials moved to close the site temporarily, as officials review what happened. The Corps of Engineers will investigate the river and dam to see if recent flooding caused any changes to the site, and mitigate any potential dangers.
Now, another family who lost a loved one at the beach want to close the site permanently.
“I can’t see another family going through this,” said Susan Doss. “Whether it’s a drowning or even an accident.”
Doss’s son, Scott Doss, drown while swimming at the same spot in 2014. He was 20.
He said watching reports of the recent drowning was painful.
“When I saw the news about Devon, it was just like a dream, replayed. It was the exact same spot, the exact same accident,” she said.
Doss now supports an online petition calling for a permanent closure of the site for swimmers. The author of the petition, Skylar Morris, was friends with both Doss and Cotton.
“The ultimate goal is to close the river for swimming purposes only. We want it to stay open for people that want to fish and boat and stuff like that,” she said. “But it’s just not safe for people to swim in.”
The petition is less than a week old, but already has thousands of signatures. Doss said she is thankful for the support.
“It is overwhelming,” she said. “It gives me a little bit of closure.”
To learn more about the petition, visit the link online.