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Brandon Whitworth, KSL TV

Father wants to memorialize son with safety changes along Provo River

By Sean Moody  |  Posted Jun 6th, 2017 @ 8:03pm


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SANDY — Sean Thayne died last week while trying to rescue a woman and her daughter from the Provo River. On Tuesday, the 30-year-old man's father shared plans he has to prevent a similar tragedy from happening to another family.

Troy Thayne said his son had a strong moral compass, and he's sure that is why Sean went into the Provo River on May 29 to try to save Brenda DeDios and her 4-year-old daughter, London.

"I know that Sean wouldn't want to be known as a hero," Thayne said.

Hero or not, the grieving father wants to ensure his son leaves a legacy. "I just don't want any other people to have this living nightmare that we've had the last few days," Thayne said.

A GoFundMe page* has been set up to cover funeral expenses, and Thayne wants to use some of that money to make it safer for people to be around the Provo River.

"There has to be a balance between viewing nature and safety," he said.

Some of his ideas include more signage to warn people about the danger posed by the fast-moving water; safety equipment, such as ropes and flotation devices, placed along the river to help pull people from the water; and even an alert system to let bystanders know when someone has gone into the river.

"Do you know how they have Amber Alerts?" Thayne said. "Like a 'London Alert,' or something so that when (the alert) goes off everybody knows that there's a child or a person in the water."

Thayne also would like to see changes made to manage river levels on busy recreation days. He suggests "on major holidays, for them to lower the water level coming out of Deer Creek Reservoir."

"They did that to find the child," he said.

Even if his son couldn't save Brenda and London DeDios, Thayne thinks he could still have an impact.

"It would mean that my son did not die in vain. That his leap into that water will have meant lifesaving measures — exactly what he attempted to do," Thayne said.

Thayne asked that anyone with ideas on how to improve safety along the Provo River reach out to him through a website he set up: sean.thayne.com.

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