By Jim Wallace - bio | email
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The family of an Albany man who drowned in the Flint River trying to save two boys is asking the county to put up barrier along the river downtown to protect kids.
The Vinson family is urging that a fence be built between the River Front Park and the Flint River. The spot where their son 23 year old D. J. Vinson drown August 3rd, trying to save two young boys swept up in the current.
Cousin Reya Vinson said "The Perry boys from what we understand were playing in the water fountain and got away from their father or grandfather. And came down this trail that leads you directly to the water, and just jumped in."
Vinson and friends were fishing. They saved a ten year old, but Vinson and 11 year old Joshua Perry were dragged under by the swirling currents. Today 8 members of the Vinson family asked the county commission to put up a fence that might have stopped the boys.
Mother Beth Vinson said "My son and all them guys were very brave to go in that water and try to save the children. And I just don't wish this pain on anyone else."
The Vinson family has put a lot of work and thought into the project. They gave the county commissioners measurements, plans, even price quotes, petitions with two thousand signatures in favor of the fence, and even pictures of other riverwalks in other cities.
Father Dwayne Vinson said "Come along the edge of these walk ways, follow the round contours all the way up to the bridge. At least make them go this far away from this park before they can get into this water."
They think the fence would give another safeguard to families enjoying picnics near the River, or playing at Turtle Park.
Aunt Sherry Vinson said " With the play park behind it, they need to put something here so it's not so easy for other children to get down there."
The Vinsons say being at the park is painful, bringing back memories of D. J.'s death, but they continue work on their fence project because of him.
Mother Beth Vinson said "My son, he was a wonderful young man. He loved everyone, and I know this is what he would want me to do."
A family remembering their hero son, dedicated to putting up a fence at the River Front Park to protect children.
Rescue divers say that portion of the Flint River at the RiverFront Park is one of it's most dangerous stretches, because of the currents and underwater pockets.