An Ohio teen who was rescued after she spent 30 minutes underwater at a lakeside waterpark on Tuesday has died, officials said on Wednesday.
Mykiara Jones, 14, was bouncing on an inflatable attraction at the Land of Illusions Amusement Park at 8762 Thomas Road in Madison Township when she somehow went underwater around 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday.
Butler County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the waterpark at 5:10 p.m. while the amusement park’s staff frantically searched for the Dayton girl.
Mykiara, who was not wearing a life vest, was found and pulled from the water by a lifeguard around 5:30 p.m. while Madison Township EMS began lifesaving measures.
She was taken by helicopter to Dayton Children’s Hospital where she later died, officials said.
A cause of death has not yet been determined, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office told WLWT.
‘This is a tragedy no parent should have to endure. These are the calls first responders dread and have difficulty dealing with. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,’ Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones said in a news release.
Mykiara Jones, 14, was bouncing on an inflatable attraction at the Land of Illusions Amusement Park when she somehow went underwater around 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday
Land of Illusion, which opened its waterpark in 2018, boasts attractions including an inflatable water slide, an inflatable Wibit obstacle course, paddle boarding and beach games
Butler County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the waterpark at 5:10 p.m. while the amusement park’s lifeguard staff frantically searched for the Dayton girl
A cause of death has not yet been determined, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said
Land of Illusion, which opened its waterpark in 2018, boasts attractions including an inflatable water slide, an inflatable Wibit obstacle course, paddle boarding and beach games like ping pong, horseshoes, cornhole and sand volleyball.
In a message posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Land of Illusion wrote that the park would be closing for the day ‘out of respect for her and her family’ as well as employees dealing with the tragedy.
‘We are fully supporting state and local officials as they investigate the incident. We would like to thank first responders and all those who participated in the rescue effort,’ the park said in the message.
‘We ask that you join us in sending thoughts and prayers and our deepest condolences to our guest’s family and friends, as well as to the team members and guests who were onsite last evening during this tragedy.’
Land of Illusion notes in the FAQ section of its website that the depth of the park’s lake around its inflatable attractions ranges from 2 feet to 10 feet.
The park also provides life vests and requires that guests wear them when using the inflatables or paddle boarding, according to the website.
However, the Land of Illusion also notes that the ability to swim is not a requirement to enjoy the park because of the provided life vests.
Marlon Styles, the superintendent of the Middletown City School District, issued a message to parents offering grief counseling to those whose lives she touched.
‘It is with great sadness that I write this letter to you. One of our students died yesterday after a possible drowning incident at the Land of Illusion Water Park,’ Styles said.
‘Mykiara Jones was a rising freshman at Middletown High School and we mourn for her family and friends. Mykiara’s mother works in our schools, so we will be wrapping our arms around her during this extremely difficult time.’
The Land of illusion Adventure Park posted that the park would be closed on Wednesday
Styles also encouraged parents to talk with their children ‘about their thoughts and feelings’ and to ‘provide outlets for expression such as drawing, writing, talking and any other engaging activities.’
‘Be honest. When they ask difficult questions, it’s okay to say you don’t know the answer. Reassure them of their own health and safety and make sure they know that you are emotionally available to them,’ the message reads.
‘When the time comes, we will follow the family’s wishes regarding sharing information about memorial arrangements. We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to the family, friends, and teachers of Mykiara. We pray the family finds peace and comfort during this difficult time.’
The Land of Illusion park has faced scrutiny in comments made to social media, as local residents pointed out there has been at least one previous death tied to the park.
In 2014, another Ohio teen died at a ‘haunted scream park’ tied to the Land of Illusion Amusement Park, the New York Daily News reported at the time.
Christian Faith Benge, 16, was visiting the haunted attraction just over a week before Halloween with friends and family when she suddenly collapsed.
However, the outlet noted that Christian died from a pre-existing ‘time bomb’ medical condition which she suffered from health problems since her birth, including having just one lung and an enlarged heart.