Warning signs coming after twin Trinity tragedies



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Posted on March 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 13 at 12:52 AM

Trinity Park

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FORT WORTH — The Tarrant Regional Water District is considering adding signage near an area of Fort Worth's Trinity Park where two people drowned in the past two years.

In August 2011, Dania Martinez — who didn’t know how to swim — attempted to rescue her eight-year-old child from the water. Martinez died.

One year earlier, Richard Walker drowned in the same spot while trying to rescue a seven-year-old that he and his wife were hoping to adopt.

In the months since the twin tragedies, officials with the water district have been studying the circumstances and now plan to add warning signs in the park.

"There are inherent dangers around any body of water," said TRWD spokesman Chad Lorance.

But why has it has taken so long to decide on warning signs? "We wanted to make sure that we were very deliberate and that we evaluated the different threads and factors in the incidents to make sure that we were addressing the things that we need to address, and that we not get in a hurry and not really address the real problem," Lorance said.

There are 17 low-water dams in the area, and they're popular with many people — including children. It's common to find people spending the afternoon and evening hours just inches away from the swirling waters that flow along the Trinity River.

Lorance said district officials will discuss signage this week. He said they will likely be targeted toward parents — reminding them to keep a close watch on their children.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com