Teen dead after being pulled from Stephens Lake

Thursday, August 28, 2008 | 7:22 p.m. CDT; updated 12:44 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 29, 2008
Rescue workers prepare to leave the scene of a teen's death at Stephens Lake Park on Thursday.

COLUMBIA — A 17-year-old is dead after fire crews pulled him from Stephens Lake on Thursday, a Columbia Police news release said.

The victim was identified as Columbia resident Jared Isaiah Healea. Witnesses told fire crews that several people were jumping into water that was about 15 feet deep from the rail surrounding the walkway in a prohibited area. Witnesses said Healea was swimming for two or three minutes before he began struggling and went under,  Columbia Fire Department Capt. Eric Hartman said. 


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At 5:09 p.m, a witness called the Fire Department, and firefighters pulled Healea from about eight feet of water roughly 30 feet  from the shore at 5:26 p.m, Hartman said.

Medical crews took Healea to MU Health Care where he was later pronounced dead, the release said.

Columbia firefighters train annually for water rescues and crews were trained on  handling a "nearly identical" situation in July, a Fire Department news release said.


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Ray Shapiro August 28, 2008 | 10:59 p.m.

Teenagers have been jumping off this "boardwalk-bridge" into the lake all summer long. It's been ruining the Stephen's Lake experience for those fishing, swimming in the designated areas and for those just enjoying their walk. With no lifeguard, no park ranger, no cops and basically no supervision, it was only a matter of time that one of these "daredevils" got hurt.
There are also a few people who are starting open fires on the beach area. It's only a matter of time for an unattended child to get burned.
This is the first year I have seen such a disregard for others at Stephen's Lake.
I'm surprised there hasn't been more enforcement of the park's rules by city officials. There's a different kind of crowd mixing in with the decent families of Columbia. It's about time the city tightened up security there.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 29, 2008 | 5:12 a.m.

What kind of City Government would open a swimming area to the public but post no life guards? I mean be real here as at least get volunteers from the local Red Cross or the University.

(Report Comment)
Michael Sleadd August 29, 2008 | 7:56 a.m.

This was a tragic accident. We extend our sympathy to Jared's family and friends. My wife and I visit Stephens Lake Park several times a week and have never seen anyone jumping into the lake from the boardwalk. Nor have we seen campfires or evidence of fires in the swim area. We don't doubt that the rules are occasionally broken and in this case the result was tragic. 99.9% of the people that use this beautiful park are respectful of others and obey the park rules.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro August 29, 2008 | 11:06 a.m.

Yes, it was a tragic event. But it was no accident. If you jump off a cliff and crack your skull open it's no accident. These kids are doing dumb, stupid , dangerous stuff in front of their neighbors. (Just showing off and having a good time?--B.S.) I don't grieve for Jared, his family or his friends.
Send the message that if you're going to ruin it for others, that you just might ruin it for yourself. ( I can't bring back Jared, but maybe we can wake up some others.)
You may not have seen what I've seen at Stephens, but I assure you that my girlfriend and I have. That means that others have and I hope they come forward. (Although in this town with blinders and politically correctness as a priority over safety and speaking the truth, I doubt it.)

(Report Comment)
Ro Sila August 29, 2008 | 12:26 p.m.

Why would anyone post a lifeguard in a "prohibited area"? Sounds more like a candidate for a Darwin Award. Perhaps Charles Dudley Jr. should learn to read?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 29, 2008 | 5:56 p.m.

Ro Sila you totally missed the point. It is a city owned and operated facility and even though marked all around of "No Life Guard On Duty" what about those who might not be able to read or can read English who want to enjoy the facility but then get in trouble? Oh you did not think of them did you. Before you go off about Darwin Awards maybe you should learn to think "Outside Of The Box" instead off the point of your nose so you will not be made to look dumb in the public eye.
In my opinion for the safety of the citizens of Columbia if there is no life guard stationed at that place where it is a "City run and operated facility" then swimming should not be allowed for the safety of the public as a whole not just to put limits on citizens but so these types of incidents do not have to happen. It is called "preventative measure planning". This is just my opinion and may not reflect the opinion of any other citizen of Columbia but it sure would effect your opinion if it was a child of yours,a friends child or a loved one of yours that died wouldn't it.

(Report Comment)
Destiny Rice October 4, 2008 | 11:44 a.m.

That Bull How (ray shapiro) <- Thats Their Username.
How Can He Say That Hes Not Grieving About Jared?
Maybe He Just Didn't Know Him. But Still When He Says That It Makes The People Who Loved Him && Miss Him Very Upset!
You Shouldn't Talk Crap Unless You Know Who Your Hurting!
Alot Of People Love && Miss Jared!
I Am Getting Really Pissed With All Of These People Saying That Jared Shouldn't Have Been Jumping Off The Board Walk.
Maybe He Shouldn't Have Jumped Off But Doesn't Matter Everyone Makes Mistakes!
Even You Guys!
So Please Stop Talking About Him Like Hes Worth Nothing!
If You Want To Talk Back Then Bring It!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 4, 2008 | 1:39 p.m.

Hey, I didn't push your beloved Jared off the bridge. If you want to do something constructive, speak to Parks & Rec and see if they'll allow you to place a wreath and/or plaque on the "jumping off point" and maybe you'll help some of your other "brilliant" buds think twice before they 1. Do something reckless and 2. Ruin it for others.
(Gee, I hope next summer is better!)

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 4, 2008 | 10:55 p.m.

ray shapiro hitting it once again right on the nose. Listed to this guy and you might actually learn something.

(Report Comment)
Destiny Rice September 7, 2011 | 2:08 p.m.

It has been a long time since I have posted on here, but I was going back reading it & I would like to say a few things. Since the accident happened I have calmed down alot & I would like to appologize for my rude, immature behavior, but I still disagree with quite a bit going on up there. ^ Everyone is entitled to their own opinions though. Jared is still greatly missed & loved. This accident has hurt us all who care about him. His son & family are not going to be able to see him ever again. His son is going to grow up without a father. I think people should show more sympathy. Not aiming that towards anyone. But I do believe the park rules should be enforced better for the safety & enjoyment of everyone.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 7, 2011 | 2:15 p.m.

RIP: Jared
Destiny, It's also important to police your own, especially when you live in a town with 65+ parks and only one park ranger for the entire town.
Sorry if my "tough love" came across as too abrasive.
-Ray Shapiro

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley September 7, 2011 | 3:31 p.m.

Destiny Rice: "Maybe He Shouldn't Have Jumped Off But Doesn't Matter Everyone Makes Mistakes! Even You Guys"!

ESPECIALLY these guys, Destiny.....

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 7, 2011 | 3:46 p.m.

The more mistakes you make, the more likely you get one thing right.

(Report Comment)
Brittany Ratliff January 11, 2012 | 2:12 p.m.

I know this comment is really late and that Jared died a few years back (about 4 years to be exact), but I really don't appriciate when people talk about him like you were. I knew Jared personally and he was like a brother to me. Every year on Augest 28th, I break down and cry... please don't say stuff like that aniimore...

(Report Comment)

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