The victim and her family were swimming in a man-made pond on the Cave B property, which served a dual purpose of recreation for visitors and irrigation for a vineyard.
While in shallow water, the girl was sucked into an inlet pipe that powered the irrigation system. Two of the victim’s siblings saw her go under the water as she was dragged down by the suction. Her younger sister tried to save her, but did not have the strength. Her older brother was too far away.
The heavy-duty pump pulled the victim through a 90-degree bend in the piping and more than 70 feet up a hill. According to the Grant County Medical Examiner, she died from drowning and chest compression. Fire fighters recovered her body from where it was lodged inside the pipe.
“Her family is devastated,” said attorney Anthony Marsh of the Herrmann Law Group. “This was an easily preventable death if the company followed the law and installed required grating or sensors to shut down the system in the event of a blockage like this.”
There were no signs at the pond warning swimmers about the irrigation system. The victim’s parents want other families to be aware of the dangers of irrigation systems hidden in swimming areas.
Marsh and the Herrmann Law Group have called for a criminal investigation to be opened the young girl’s death. “This corporation failed to follow the law and this failure killed a child,” Marsh said.
The victim, who dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, is survived by her parents and six siblings who live in Issaquah.
The case is filed in King County under the cause number 21-2-11351-2.
Founded in 1950 by former State Senator and State Insurance Commissioner Karl Herrmann, Herrmann Law Group has offices in Seattle and Tacoma. The personal injury firm’s long history of advocacy includes aviation disasters, civil rights cases, auto accidents, and wrongful deaths.
Herrmann Law Group