Father, son drowning victims identified

Father, son drowning victims identified

A man and a 4-year-old boy who died after falling in the Wisconsin River Friday were identified Monday.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said Elliot J. McKenna, 29, and Andrew T. McKenna, 5, were two of five people fell into the water from a sand bar on the river in Columbia County. According to a release, emergency crews successfully rescued one woman, one man and one boy. A boy rescued later died, and a man was found dead on the scene.

The release said at 1:03 p.m. the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call that people were in the Wisconsin River yelling for help on the north end of Tipperary Road in the town of Dekorra.

“It’s a difficult situation because … somebody went out to have a great time with their family and their kids, and now several people’s lives have been changed over this,” Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said.

Two kids were on the edge of a sand bar and fell in where there was a deep drop off, Richards said. The father jumped in after the boy. Neither of the two came back up.

“We thought it’d be a nice day to bring the kids out and everything, and have some fun,” Darren Long, a friend of the man who died, said. “It’s just hard to believe that this would have happened to him.”

Crews were able to use a nearby neighbor’s boat to quickly rescue a woman and the 7-year-old boy who also fell in.  The woman and boy were transported to separate hospitals. 

According to the release, Andrew McKenna was rescued and taken to the hospital, where he died.

Dive crews recovered the body of Elliot McKenna at about 6:15 p.m., and he was pronounced dead on the scene.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victims’ family to help pay for funeral expenses.