WAYNE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A fishing outing turned tragic Saturday in Armstrong County.
A boy drowned when he slipped off a large rock and fell into Mahoning Creek Lake in Wayne Township just after 1 p.m.
People who live in the rural community – not far from the Mahoning Dam – say it’s a popular spot for fishing and boating, off Boat Launch Road.
The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office identified the victim as 9-year-old Allen Miller, of Dayton. The cause of death was determined to be an accidental drowning.
Miller was at the lake with his family fishing. State Police say he slipped off a large boulder.
He may have lost his footing on the rock. It was wet after a rainstorm in the area a few hours earlier.
Family members searched unsuccessfully for Miller. He was eventually pulled out of the water and flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he was pronounced dead just after 3 p.m.
Crystal Davis was at the lake Saturday afternoon with her son, Nicholas.
Davis told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I mean that’s sad, that’s awful. We knew nothing about the drowning (until now).”
“Dayton is is small, very tight knit community, and when anything happens to anyone in the town, everyone is very affected by it,” Dayton restaurant owner Mitzi McDivitt said.
Mitzi’s Place is a small restaurant, owned and operated by McDivitt and her daughter; they live a few miles away in Jefferson County.
“We go down (to the lake) all the time, kayaking,” McDivitt said. “It’s terrible, it’s so sad; my heart goes out to the entire family.”
Locals say the lake is deceiving; some spots are shallow, others are quite deep.
In fact, State Police said Miller’s family had difficulty locating him after he disappeared into the lake because of the water’s depth.