The Harlan County Rescue Squad responded to a possible drowning at the lake, along with officers from the Kentucky State Police and the Harlan County Sheriff's Office. Squad members began dragging the lake and recovered the body of Donna Creech, 41.
KSP trooper Rob Farley is investigating the drowning. According to a press release from Farley, upon his arrival, it was determined that Creech had fallen from her personal inflatable floatation device in the main channel of the lake, in 12-14 feet of water. The lake is located off KY 987 at Smith.
"Bystanders saw her fall off of the inflatable and attempted to rescue her," Farley said. "Their efforts were unsuccessful, and the Harlan County Rescue Squad was dispatched to the scene."
Farley said the squad units and Department of Fish and Wildlife officer Billy Collett searched the area for nearly an hour before recovering Creech from the water. Farley said no foul play is suspected.
KSP trooper Jim T. Whitaker and deputy David Williams were called away from the drowning scene to respond to a fatal crash on KY 987, approximately six miles east of the lake at Cawood.
Jesse James Jenkins, 17, died from injuries sustained the single-vehicle crash, and the driver was arrested.
According to a press release, Whitaker said Crystal Webb Jenkins, 18, was traveling east on KY 987 and operating a 1996 green Ford Explorer when the vehicle left the roadway, struck a guardrail and overturned.
Whitaker said Jesse Jenkins, a passenger, was partially ejected from the vehicle during the rollover. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Harlan County Coroner Philip Bianchi.
Whitaker said Crystal Jenkins, who was uninjured, was charged with operating a motor vehicle the influence and no licensed driver with person holding a learner's permit. She was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center. Whitaker said other charges may be pending.
There were two other passengers in the vehicle who sustained injuries: Brittany Webb, 16, and a 6-month-old infant, both of Cawood. They were wearing a seat belt and child restraint. The infant was admitted to the hospital for observation. Jesse Jenkins was not wearing a seat belt, and it is unknown if Crystal Jenkins was wearing a seat belt.
The crash remains under investigation by Whitaker. He was assisted by the Harlan County Sheriff's Office.