Drownings of 4 Oregon family members called ‘horrifically tragic, preventable’
Gaston, OR (KPTV) — The drownings of four family members at Hagg Lake are being called a terrible accident that likely could have been prevented.
The family of 3-year-old Jeremy Scholl, his 42-year-old grandmother Jova Ixtacua-Castano, his mother Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua, 25, and her brother Michael Garcia-Ixtacua, 13, released a statement Wednesday saying, “There was no negligence of any kind out there on the lake.”
The boy was found face down in the water on Monday evening. Efforts to revive him were not successful.
The following day, the bodies of the other three family members were recovered from the water.
“The family always takes great precaution, especially when it comes to their kids,” a family statement said. “Their lives revolved around the future generations of their family.”
The family statement acknowledged that life vests are available on a highly visible sign at the lake, but added the reason nobody was wearing one was “likely an oversight.”
“It was just horrifically tragic and preventable,” said Clackamas County Deputy Robby Nashif.
Nashif is on the dive rescue team that found the bodies on Tuesday.
He said there’s a drastic drop-off underwater about 30 feet from shore, going from a depth of 6 feet to 14 feet.
He believes one person began struggling in the water, the next person went out to save them and it eventually resulted in a series of drownings.
“It’s just a really sad thing that you find out before you go in that it’s three generations that have gone,” Nashif said, adding that it’s a grim reminder to be safe, wear a life jacket and know your surroundings.
Family members said Jova and Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua each worked two jobs to support the family. The two women took turns alternating between going to work and taking care of the 3-year-old boy.
Jova Garcia-Ixtacua was described as a “cornerstone” of the family who was passionate about the community of Hillsboro.
Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua was “flourishing as a single mom,” a family statement said, and she had recently been promoted to supervisor at one of her jobs in customer service.
Michael Garcia-Ixtacua was set to attend Hillsboro Online Academy in the fall.
An account has been set up to help the family with funeral costs and ot