The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) says a Shawnee woman and two of her children were killed in a boating accident on Saturday evening outside of Burlington, Kan. A man was injured and remains hospitalized.
The accident happened on the Neosho River, near the Burlington City Dam, in Coffey County, about 6:30 p.m.
Burlington is about 60 miles south of Topeka.
“As the boat approached the low-head dam, it stalled in rapid, aerated water, at which point the operator lost control of the vessel, and all occupants were ejected,” Major David Simonetti of KDWPT said in a news release.
“One adult female, identified as Maribel Moran, and the couple’s two children, ages three and five, were recovered unresponsive at the scene and transported to Burlington Hospital where they were later pronounced deceased,” the release continued.
Maj. Simonetti says the man, identified as Wesley Sharp, was rescued and transported to the hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
Narda Lyons, who identified herself as the children’s aunt, organized an online fundraiser Sunday night at GoFundeMe.com.
“Despite wearing life jackets, the turbulent water and impact of flipping over caused them not to survive,” Lyons wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Lyons said Moran also had a 24-year-old daughter who is the older sibling of the two children who died in Saturday’s accident.
“Myself and the rest of the family are heartbroken, shocked, and devastated and are still struggling to accept this new reality,” Lyons wrote.
KDWPT says the Water Rescue Division of the Coffey County Fire District #1, Coffey County Sheriff’s Office and Burlington Police Department also responded to the accident scene.
Anyone with information related to the accident is asked to call KDWPT game warden Blake Stromgren at 785-207-3151.