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Toddler boy dies after drowning in Starvation Canyon

By KSL.com  |  Posted May 29th, 2011 @ 11:59pm


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SPANISH FORK — A 2-year-old boy pulled from Starvation Creek Saturday has died as a results of his injuries.

Doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center took Vince Larsen, of Woodland Hills, off life support Sunday, according to a statement from the Utah County Sheriff's Office. He died at 3 p.m.

The toddler was lying face down in Starvation Creek before the boy's uncle found him a quarter of a mile away from their campsite nearly an hour after he went missing. The uncle immediately transferred Vince to the road and started performing CPR as nearby campers helped in the efforts.

He was also assisted by an officer with the state Division of Natural Resources who used an external defibrillator to attempt restore the boy's heartbeat.


Is it preventable? It probably was preventable, but is there blame to be place? I don't think so. Knowing the nature of two years olds, you can almost be doing your very best and still have things happen that can turn out to be tragic.

–Spencer Cannon


After 20 minutes of trying to revive the young boy, Larsen's uncle loaded the boy into his truck and met an ambulance crew at the bottom of the canyon.

Because there was no cell service in the area, a family member had to drive down the canyon before they could call 911.

"We had ambulance personnel responding, an Air Med helicopter responding to the area," said Cannon. "CPR went on the entire time and was still continuing when Air Med left with him to take him to Primary Children's Medical Center."

Nearby campers said that the toddler was unresponsive, had cuts on his face and was black and blue.

Cannon said the boy was in bad shape when he was flown to the hospital, but the fact that he was flown is a good sign. He said what happened to this family was tragic and should be a warning to others.

The family said that several other children were playing with the Vince before he went missing. At about 3:45 p.m., an older boy immediately informed the family that Vince was gone.

Family members immediately went looking for him. His uncle drove downstream in case he had fallen in the creek. As the uncle started walking back up the creek, he found Vince in the water.

"Is it preventable? It probably was preventable, but is there blame to be place? I don't think so," said Cannon. "Knowing the nature of two-year-olds, you can almost be doing your very best and still have things happen that can turn out to be tragic."

Campers said that the creek has grown in the short time that they've been there.

The campground is about 3.5 miles off U.S. Highway 6. The highway was closed for about 30 minutes while emergency crews responded to the incident.

Story written with contributions from Shara Park

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