On Aug. 27, my family and I were involved in a serious boat accident on Lake Lanier near Toto Creek Park at the Dawson/Hall County line. My granddaughter, Katelynn Smith, 12 (Katelynn turned 13 in the hospital) and I were injured. Sadly my nephew, Trevor Aaron Jones, 14 years old, did not survive after being thrown in the lake as a result of the collision with another boat, and drowned.
A thoroughly bad situation could have been much worse if not for the response and actions of the authorities from Dawson, Forsyth, Hall and Lumpkin counties as well as the Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corp of Engineers.
In a place that many might consider the middle of nowhere, the sheriff, paramedics, firefighters of various counties, a Life Flight helicopter, the Hall and Dawson County dive teams, the Dawson County Emergency Service K-9 Strike team, various counties chaplains and others were there waiting on shore within minutes of the tragedy, or arrived shortly thereafter. Many remained late into the night and returned the next morning to aid in the search for Trevor until his body was, sadly, recovered from the bottom of the lake.
While I hope my family and I will never need the services of the first responders' again, we would like each individual and group named above to know that you were our heroes during our most difficult time. It is with your efforts, dedication and professionalism that we were able to get through the first few hours and days of this tragedy and begin to recover, and will remain heroes in our hearts and minds forever.
You are truly appreciated.
Jack and Melita Struve