2 children, 1 adult dead in weekend river drownings outside Houston, authorities say

Jul 17, 2023, 11:18 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — Three people including two children have drowned in separate weekend incidents while swimming at night near rural Houston-area parks along the San Jacinto River, according to authorities.

A 6-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were swimming in the river around 9 p.m. Saturday next to the Xtreme Offroad Park and Marina when they went under and did not resurface, said Harris County Sheriff’s Office Major Jesse Razo.

The park is located about 25 miles (40 km ) northeast of Houston in Crosby.

The sheriff’s office deployed a dive team and a robot with sonar capabilities and located two bodies early Sunday morning. The bodies matched the description of the missing children, Razo said.

Authorities did not immediately release the names of the two children.

“The families of the children are very distraught … Our condolences go out to the family,” Razo said.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the offroad park offered its condolences and said the children were not being supervised at the time they went swimming.

“The river is already a dangerous place itself, let alone at night and being left alone like these kids were,” the park said.

On Sunday night, a man who had been swimming in the river near Magnolia Gardens Park went missing, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. The man had been trying to swim to a small island in the river and was seen taking a break in the water near the island when he disappeared, authorities said.

His body was found later Sunday night. The man’s name was not immediately released.

“Even if you are a strong swimmer, which the family says he’s a strong swimmer, you can get in trouble,” said sheriff’s office Lt. David Jasper.

Magnolia Gardens Park is a few miles (kilometers) northwest of the offroad park.

Saturday’s deaths of the two children were part of four that have taken place near the offroad park within the last two months.

In June, a 28-year-old man died after jumping in the water while trying to save a woman who was being pulled away from shore. His body was later recovered.

In May, a 30-year-old man died after crashing his ATV, going underwater and never resurfacing. His body was later found.

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2 children, 1 adult dead in weekend river drownings outside Houston, authorities say