Man paralyzed after diving into Grapevine Lake

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by LAUREN ZAKALIK

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaalauren

WFAA

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 7:53 PM

DALLAS -- They're the deceitfully inviting waters of Grapevine Lake that have landed Justin McLellan in a Baylor Rehab hospital room in Dallas.

He's currently paralyzed from the waist down.

"Couple friends were out on the lake, having some beer, riding a wakeboard," he said, when he and his friends decided to dive off the boat and into the lake.

He said he had no idea how shallow it was.

"Landed on my head," said the 23-year-old TXU employee, who grew up in Grapevine. "I don’t remember if I blacked out or not, but I remember looking at my friends and waving at them, saying 'help.'"

Kenneth Myers of the Army Corps of Engineers says doing anything without wearing a life jacket in these conditions is a risk. Grapevine Lake is currently 10 feet below where the water levels should be.

"Anyone who says it can't happen to them, it can," Myers said. "Just because it's 10 feet in one spot doesn’t mean there’s not a rock over to the side."

Our content partners at the Star-Telegram are profiling the dangers of the low lake levels in this weekend's newspaper.

McLellan now issues a plea from his hospital bed.

"Be mindful about where you're at on the lake," he said. "Even if you're out in the middle, there are still sandbars... You don’t want this to happen."

E-mail lzakalik@wfaa.com

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