2-year-old boy drowns after wandering away from campsite in Blacksmith Fork Canyon

Posted at 3:16 PM, May 21, 2017

CACHE COUNTY, Utah -- For the third time in the last month, a person has drowned in Utah after getting caught up in raging waters.

The latest victim is a two-year-old boy.

It was around 10 a.m. Sunday morning when a family from Box Elder County, camping in Blacksmith Fork Canyon, realized their two-year-old son was gone.

"The child hadn't been out of sight for very long at all, literally probably a minute or less," said Lt. Mike Peterson with the Cache County Sheriff's Office.

Right next to the campground flows the Left Hand Fork River. Search and rescue crews were called in and made the devastating discovery around 12:15 pm.

"The child was located in the river just shy of a half a mile away from the campsite, he was obviously deceased," Peterson said.

Cache County is investigating the death as a terrible accident.

"It's just a stark reminder of the dangers that happen this time of year, we know there is a lot of snowpack still up in the mountains and still a lot of water to come down," Peterson said.

It's been a deadly spring. On April 23, a 58-year-old woman drowned after getting swept away in Parley's Creek. Then on May 9, an eight-year-old died when he was caught up in the Ogden River.

Stefanie Jones of Hyrum witnessed Sunday's search first-hand. She fishes the Left Hand Fork River all the time with her 8-year-old-son Fisher. She said safety is always No. 1 on her mind.

"The entire ride up we talked about runoff and how it's really high water, really fast-moving, and we would stay away from the edge and stay together the whole time," Jones said.

The Jones family said any other time of year they could easily walk across the river without a problem, but that's certainly not the case right now.

"We explained how if you get under, he doesn't have enough strength, if he got caught underneath a log, there's not a lot he could do," Jones said.

Fisher said he knows these types of accidents do happen, but it's hard to believe when it happens at your favorite fishing spot.

"It's just very sad to see this happen,"  Fisher Jones said. "It's really dangerous."

The Cache County Sheriff's Office said this boy's death remains an open investigation, which is why they are not releasing his name at this time. The family declined an opportunity to speak with Fox 13.