Services today for drowning victim

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. today in Winnemucca for 15-year-old Lowry High School sophomore Dustin Allen Savoie.

Savoie drowned while digging for crawdads with his sisters Alexa and Kami and a friend Monday afternoon in the West Fork of the Walker River.

Savoie's father, Rolland, said his children were digging on a sandbar, when fast-moving water eroded a section of the sandbar.

Dustin was tied to a 5-gallon bucket that had been weighted with a "good size rock." When the bucket went into the deeper water, it pulled him in after, Rolland Savoie said Wednesday.

The West Walker runs from the Sierra Nevada through Smith Valley, where Savoie drowned in Lyon County.

"He got tangled in some line down there, fishing for crawdads," Lyon County Sheriff Sid Smith said. "It kept him right there beneath the surface."

Savoie's father, in tears, described the situation that followed.

"One of his water socks floated to the surface," Savoie said, "which one of the kids got a hold of -- they thought he was joking with them."

When they realized he wasn't, one went for help on an ATV and returned with their grandfather, Gilbert Cook, in his Jeep, Savoie said.

"When they pulled him up and rolled him over they saw that his lips were blue and his eyes were fixed and open, and they turned and ran because they didn't know what to do," Savoie said.

Alexa and her grandfather attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation and then took him to the Smith Valley Fire Station.

While Care Flight stood at the ready, emergency medical personnel tried for an hour to resuscitate Savoie for an hour before pronouncing him dead.

Savoie was the third drowning in Lyon County in the past month.

Ben Maxwell, a 19-year-old of Dayton, drowned in the Carson River after trying to save his dog June 2.

Michael Ellis, 21, a volunteer firefighter from Storey County, drowned in Lahontan Reservoir in about 20 feet of water. He was last seen clinging to a buoy 50 feet from shore June 8.

Savoie was born in Lancaster, Calif., Sept. 16, 1987.

"He loved to garden and to woodwork -- loved to laugh, loved to joke, was involved in church. He was a joy to all who knew him," said his dad.

An account in his name has been set up for his family at Citibank: Acct. No. 40017257136.


An account for the family of Dustin Allen Savoie has been set up at Citibank: Acct. No. 40017257136.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment