Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

A bad day to be a reporter

Most of the time I really love being a reporter and being in the know of what’s going on in town before everyone else does. That was not the case today. After a full day of ribbon cuttings and food, we got a call to Steinaker, the local lake, about a young man who had drowned. They weren’t sure he had drowned when the call came through, but since the call was for a dive team we pretty much knew what to expect. I’ve covered a lot of accidents, and have seen death before, but never had it impacted me like this. Usually by the time we arrive the scene is secured and cleared; not so this time.
We arrived before the divers and stood on the bank with the victim’s friend and dog, who were beside themselves with grief. The young friend had been swimming along the bank searching to the point of exhaustion, and stood beside us and watched helplessly as the boats extended poles into the water in hopes of finding the body. I was haunted by the thought of the young man’s body, which in comparison to the acres of water, seemed tiny, under the water. What did he think as he was sinking? What were his thoughts when he realized his demise was near? How was his mother going to react when the local sheriff arrived at her house to tell her that her son was gone? Again, I knew of the death before the family did, and that not only tied my stomach up in knots, but also felt like it was going to make my heart explode.
After nearly two hours, I knew there was no chance for the young man, but I kept hoping that maybe he was playing a cruel joke on his friend. That maybe he had made his way out to the island not far off, and was watching all of this from afar.
That was not the case. Finally there was a yell from one of the divers–they had found him. I watched as they pulled his body from the lake, and I’m sorry I didn’t look away. His hair floated in the water for a moment before they pulled him up, much like any kid who was just floating around. But when they pulled his limp, discolored body into the boat, it was obvious there truly was no hope. I have never been that close and that involved with a death, and although that scarring vision will always be in my mind, I will do my best to write a story that has some positive impact on his mother’s heart, rather than one that just chronicles the death of a young soul.

August 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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