Child drowns in El Jebel canal

Fast-moving water swept 20-month-old girl away near El Jebel baseball fields

A 20-month-old child drowned Wednesday after falling into the fast-moving waters of the canal near the baseball fields in El Jebel. Just before 5 p.m., emergency personnel quickly responded to reports of the girl falling in the ditch, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.  

The Eagle and Pitkin County Sheriff’s offices, Basalt Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Carbondale Fire and the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue teams responded to the call.

They searched for about an hour before the girl, who lived in El Jebel, was located.

First responders pulled the child from the water and began performing CPR and transported her to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.  

“The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office wants to urgently remind the community that adults need to watch children closely at all times and especially when playing in and near any type of moving water,” read a statement from the sheriff’s office. “Spring and summer bring warmer temperatures, snow melt, runoff and high water to our mountain streams, creeks and rivers. The dangers of fast-moving water can be fatal for any children or persons playing or recreating near the water.”

Officials recommended that if a child or person falls into fast-moving water, call 911 immediately and do not put another’s life at risk to rescue when first responders are trained and equipped for those types of incidents.  
The Aspen Hope Center, Vail Public Safety Communications Center, Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center, Eagle County Health and Human Services, Eagle County Coroner’s Office and many community members also assisted with search efforts and offered support to the child’s family and friends.

Detectives with the Eagle County sheriff’s and the coroner’s office are currently investigating the incident.


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