SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – A child drowned at a TVA swimming area in the Douglas Dam area on Saturday.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office said three-year-old Tameria A. Richardson, of Birmingham, Alabama, went missing at around 6:15 p.m.
A Mountain Music Kids Fishing Tournament was going nearby at the time the child went missing. Although the child was not with the tournament, as soon as she went missing, tournament goers stopped to help find her.
“Phones started ringing they said we’re missing a three-year-old girl. Find her,” said Buddy Rogers.
Witnesses say nearly every adult went to the last place the girl was seen. They linked arms through the swimming area and started wading through the water to find the missing child.
After Tameria was found, the sheriff’s office says she was given CPR and taken to LeConte Medical Center where she later died.
Laura Fraker, a parent, says the rescue was her worst nightmare.
“You hear ambulances coming. Instantly get chills. I look down at my little boy and I think Jesus no, please let her be okay,” said Fraker. “Everything has been so fun and upbeat then all of a sudden you hear people walking around and asking, have you seen this little three year old girl?”
The Sevier County Medical Examiner has ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office says it appears to be accidental.