Teen drowning at Lake Louise sparks call for change

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 5:43 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A local family is in shock after a trip to lake louise sunday ended with the death of their teenage son.

The Byron fire protection district confirms a drowning took place and Ogle county Sheriff Brian VanVickle verifies that a 16-year old boy died at a Wisconsin-area hospital after a visit to Lake Louise. According to Shakerra Pulliam... That young man... Was her brother Scottie.

“And now that he’s gone it’s like, okay I don’t know what do no more at this point,” said Shakerra Pulliam.

A call for change at Lake Louise this weekend, after a teenage boy drowned while he and his family took a day trip for some time in the water. That boy was 16-year old Scottie Pulliam.

“It’s really heartbreaking, because he was the life of the party, for real,” said Shakerra Pulliam.

Family Members say Scottie was a great kid with more friends than they could count.

“Everyone at school loves him,” Shakerra Pulliam said, “They miss him.”

Shakerra, Scottie’s Sister, says she still hasn’t been able to process the loss of her Brother.

“This is just really heartbreaking for us. And it’s really hard like we’re taking it really, really hard,” she said.

The Pulliams say there were no lifeguards nearby when Scottie entered the water. Shakerra says if someone had been observing the water, the story would be different.

“If there were lifeguards present, they would be sitting right there watching every kid that’s there,” said Shakerra Pulliam. “So they would instantly jump in when they see that somebody went down and never came back up.”

West Rock Wake Park owner Daniel Jarrett stresses water safety to prevent situations like this from happening again.

“What I want to keep preaching, every season, get your lessons in at the Y, look at the park district, if you’ve got little ones who don’t know how to swim especially if they’re near a body of water, do not, do not, lose your sight of them,” said Jarrett.

The Pulliams held a balloon release today, where family and friends gathered to honor Scottie’s life.

This is the second time in five years that a 16-year-old Rockford boy lost his life at Lake Louise due to drowning. It also happened in May of 2018.