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Sisters Drown After Being Knocked Overboard During Boat Party On Texas Lake
Two sisters have been identified as the drowning victims at a North Texas lake on July 4. Emergency crews have recovered the bodies of Teegan Hill, 31, and Troinee Broom, 28 at Lake Lewisville. The women fell off of a boat around 8 p.m. and never resurfaced.
Hill was an attorney for The Bassett Firm and a former Vanderbilt University track star, and Broom was a Lancaster Independent School District kindergarten teacher in Dallas. Hill was celebrating her 31st birthday and decided to rent a boat for the celebration, People Magazine reports.
According to close friend and eyewitness, Darius Jones, the group began their journey at 4 pm and hit a couple of strong waves that sent water onto the deck. They hit the third wave as they were ending their four-hour ride.
“That one was massive and the boat was going under, like, the first two didn’t compare at all to the third one,” Jones tells NBC 5 in Dallas.
The women fell into the water.
Jones adds that the boat kept moving forward and by the time he grabbed a life jacket and swam back to where the sisters were, they were already submerged.
Highland Village Fire Chief Michael Thomson said the outcome could have been different if the two were wearing life jackets. The incident is currently under investigation, but a preliminary review suggests the boat was overcrowded.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and that we must stress the importance of wearing a life preserver when boating, no matter your ability to swim or not,” Thomson told PEOPLE in a statement. “We feel that if the victims of this tragedy had been wearing life preservers, we may have had a very different outcome.”
Jones said the group was initially scheduled to take two pontoon boats out on the Texas lake, but the charter company informed the group only one was available.
According to Jones, half the people that were supposed to attend did not because the charter company said one boat could hold about 12 people. 11 passengers and a captain were on board when the accident happened.
Since the incident, questions are being raised about the safety of some rental boats. Other passengers onboard said they were never briefed on safety protocols.
“When we got on board, no one told us that there were life jackets onboard like no one mentioned the life jackets,” Jones said. “That simply was not communicated at all. It was, ‘Hey, let’s have a good time and enjoy the ride’ and that’s not ok,” passenger Dravius Anderson said.
Hill and Broom were two of four sisters.