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'It only took seconds': Six-year-old drowns at Bear Paw Beach in Caledonia

Family has identified the six-year-old girl who drowned this past weekend in Racine County as Kristyana Williams from Milwaukee.
Kristyana Williams
Posted at 10:36 PM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 21:09:55-04

CALEDONIA — The Caledonia Police Department provided a sad update regarding a drowning in the village on Saturday evening.

Police were dispatched to Bear Paw Beach just before 6 p.m. on Saturday for a report of a possible drowning. Upon arrival, emergency responders learned that a six-year-old girl was under water for an undetermined amount of time.

Kristyana Williams
Kristyana Williams

The Caledonia Fire Department attempted life-saving efforts before the victim was taken to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Family has identified the six-year-old girl who drowned this past weekend in Racine County as Kristyana Williams from Milwaukee.

Williams had just started first grade.

“She loved to dance,” said her aunt, Makeca Eubanks. “She loved to have family time. She loved every one. She was a happy kid. She was a bright light for all of us.”

Williams was spending the weekend with her godmother, one of her favorite people. They went to a birthday party Saturday at Bear Paw Beach in Caledonia.

“It’s heartbreaking for Kristyana’s godmother, because she was in her care,” said Eubanks. “She’s having a really difficult time with this. You just never expect that something as simple as a birthday party could end up like this. One minute they were having fun, the next it was tragedy. That’s what hurts the most. It only took seconds.”

A little before 6 p.m., Williams’ godmother couldn’t find her and worried the little girl was in the water. She yelled for help.

“The workers and other adults there formed a huddle and walked through the water searching for her because they couldn’t see the bottom,” said Eubanks. “They were amazing.”

They found Williams but could not revive her.

Caledonia police say it happened in a shallow area, only about four feet deep. Signs warn families to swim at their own risk. Lifeguards are stationed near deeper water.

Bear Paw Beach closed Monday, as counselors were brought in to help staff cope.

“No other family should have to go through this,” said Eubanks. “Please always keep an eye on children. Never leave their side. Especially near water. It can happen in the blink of an eye, and there’s no going back.”

This incident is an ongoing investigation.

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