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Stay Out Stay Alive Fatal Accident Summaries
for 2008

May 31, 2008

An Indiana teen in town to watch friends at a track meet died Saturday after he jumped into a quarry.

The victim, 18, of Washington, died after he jumped into the Monroe County quarry. A witness called 911 when the teen failed to resurface after jumping into the water. By the time emergency personnel arrived, witnesses said the teen had been underwater for at least 10 minutes.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Department, Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service and the Monroe County Dive Team responded to the quarry. The teen was pulled from the water at 5:59 p.m.

Sgt. Troy Thomas said Ayala and two friends had come to town to watch the Indiana state track and field meet in Bloomington. After attending the meet, the three decided to check out the quarry, Thomas said. Police said the three had been at the quarry for about an hour when the incident occurred.

Local quarries have become popular swimming holes over the years, but all are on private property, which makes swimming in them illegal. The waters are inviting pools when the weather is hot, but the holes are filled with unknown debris that can be dangerous.

Indiana Limestone, which owns the property where Rooftop Quarry is located, has worked to discourage swimmers from using the dangerous waters. The company has hired private security, which issues citations to anyone caught trespassing. The road leading to the quarry is also blocked by a gate, and numerous signs throughout the area warn trespassers to keep out.

However, those measures have failed to keep people from entering the quarry area. Thomas said illegal quarry swimmers often feel the police target them, but he recalled a number of drownings during his time with the sheriff's office. He remembers responding to two drownings in one day. Thomas said Sheriff Jim Kennedy has deputies frequently patrol the quarry areas and ticket violators.

�We try to use the tickets as a deterrence to keep people from getting into extreme incidents like this,� Thomas said.

Deputy coroner Liz Fiato said an autopsy would be performed.

Source: Times-Mail (Bedford, IN)