NewsLocal News


Arizona husband, wife die from apparent drowning at Deer Creek Reservoir

File Photo: Deer Creek State Park / Deer Creek Reservoir
Posted at 3:02 PM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 01:30:55-04

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — Two people died Sunday from an apparent drowning at Deer Creek State Park.

The husband and wife from Chandler, Arizona were boating with family around noon when tragedy struck, according to local officials.

The husband, 72-year-old David McMillan, and another adult family member appeared to be struggling to stay afloat while swimming. His wife, 59-year-old Catherine McMillan, jumped in to help.

But the couple both disappeared under the water and didn't resurface for some time. They were eventually pulled out of the water unconscious.

First responders attempted lifesaving efforts as the victims were taken to shore and as the couple were taken to local hospitals.

David and Catherine McMillan were declared dead, but the third person is expected to fully recover.

None of the three were wearing life jackets.

While the causes of their deaths will be determined by a state medical examiner, officials say it appears the couple drowned.

"The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation would like to express our condolences to the friends and family impacted by the passing of both David and Catherine McMillan," a press release from the division said.

The tragic incident comes on the same day that a 37-year-old man drowned while swimming at Pineview Reservoir, and just a few days after another drowning at Deer Creek on Thursday.

In addition, Utah State Parks officials say there was another near-drowning Sunday at Jordanelle Reservoir. A 14-year-old girl was struggling to stay afloat while playing with a group on a floating pool toy. She was not wearing a life jacket either, and she went under.

Witnesses stepped in, brought her to shore and administered CPR. She was revived and later cleared at a local hospital.

"We would also like to remind those who are venturing into the outdoors to always stay on guard and to make safety a top priority. Always remember to wear your life jacket and ensure children are wearing their life jackets," the parks division wrote in the announcement.