Teen drowns in Cass County lake

bbashioum@demo-mo.comJune 19, 2013 

A Father’s Day celebration turned into a tragedy at a private lake in rural Harrisonville on June 16.

Cass County Sheriff deputies say a Kingsville teen drowned while jet skiing on the lake, located at 31310 S. McClain Rd., Sunday afternoon.

Upon arrival, deputies were told that the victim, identified as 17-year-old Kalen Littlefield, had been riding on a personal watercraft with another person, when it overturned and both fell off into the water.

While the operator was able to remount the vessel, Littlefield was unable to swim and quickly became overwhelmed.

Lee’s Summit Underwater Rescue and Recovery responded to the drowning and pulled the victim’s body out of the water.

Investigators said neither of the riders were wearing a life jacket.

The drowning on Sunday was the third incident at a lake in the Kansas City region in the past eight days.

A Raytown teenager drowned while swimming at a private lake in Lee’s Summit on June 8. On Saturday, 26-year-old Brent Baselee drowned while swimming at Longview Lake.

A second Kingsville teen was also killed in a drowning accident earlier this month.

Rescue crews discovered the body of 18-year-old Brian VanMeter on June 7 after he and two others fell out of a boat five days earlier into Big Creek, about 15 miles east of Harrisonville near the Cass and Johnson County line, while exploring flood waters.

Their boat hit something and began to take on water. The two survivors told authorities that VanMeter tried to hang on to a limb but had to let go and they never saw him again.

VanMeter’s body was later found about 100 yards downstream from where the crash occurred.

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