The Lake News Online
  • Wiring to blame for third lake electrocution in one week

  • For the second time in less than a week, improper wiring on a dock is being blamed for a  fatality believed to be caused by electroctution.

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  • For the second time in less than a week, improper wiring on a dock is being blamed for a fatality believed to be caused by electroctution.
    The victim, identified as Jennifer L. Lankford, 26, of Hazelwood, Mo., was killed while swimming with two children near a dock at the 4-mile marker of the Gravois Arm.
    The incident was reported Saturday evening near Dry Branch Cove. Lankford was killed "when a current of electricity" hit the water.
    Lankford apparently swam toward the dock while the two children swam away from the structure. The children were uninjured.
    Lankford's name was released on Monday by the Missouri Highway Patrol. An autopsy was planned for early this week.
    Lankford is the third fatality since July 4 when Brayden Anderson, 8, and his thirteen year old sister, Alexandra Anderson, died while swimming near a dock at the 6.5-mile marker on the Gravois Arm.
    According to a preliminary autopsy report released late last week on Brayden Anderson, the cause of death was inadequate delivery of oxygen to the brain due to insufficient oxygen in the blood induced by obstruction of the mouth and nose by water complicated by passage of electrical current through the body.
    The preliminary autopsy report on Alexandra Anderson has not been released.
    The dock where the Anderson children were swimming did not have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
    Missouri Highway Patrol - Water Patrol Division Capt. Matt Walz recommends that unless dock owners are confident the electricity ton their structures was installed by a licensed professional, they should have the wiring inspected by a licensed electrician.
    "The combination of electricity and water is too dangerous to take chances," he said.
    Over the Memorial Day weekend, three people were rushed to the hospital for treatment after receiving an electrical shock while swimming near a dock.
    In that incident, the dock reportedly had no GFI breakers on the supply to the dock, no disconnect at the shoreline and the ground from the dock to shore was insufficient, according to the Gravois Fire Protection District, the agency that responded to the call.

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