Franklin County

Coroner: Teen was camping with his family when he drowned in Elkhorn Creek

Elkhorn Creek is one of the state’s longest creeks at 17 miles. The two forks join east of Frankfort and run through Scott County to the Kentucky River.
Elkhorn Creek is one of the state’s longest creeks at 17 miles. The two forks join east of Frankfort and run through Scott County to the Kentucky River. cbertram@herald-leader.com

A 14-year-old boy died in a drowning at Elkhorn Creek Tuesday while camping with his family, according to the Franklin County Coroners Office.

Landon Smith of Lawrenceburg, went missing after diving off a boat ramp into Elkhorn Creek at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the coroners office. After several hours, Smith was found and pronounced dead.

Christopher Smith, Landon’s father, said the family intended to stay at the Still Waters Campground through the Fourth of July holiday, according to the Anderson News. Christopher Smith said he was minutes behind Landon and his two other sons when they went into the creek.

Within moments of learning Landon did not come up from the water, Christopher Smith told Anderson News that he, along with other campers and first responders, attempted to rescue his son.

Landon was a rising freshman at Anderson County High School and was a soccer player at Anderson Middle School, according to Anderson News. Christopher Smith said Landon loved to run and swim.

While an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, the preliminary cause of death is drowning and will be investigated by the coroners office.

This is not the first drowning at the creek. In 2009, a 13-year-old boy fell, and drowned in Elkhorn Creek, and in October 2018, a 35-year-old man died in a kayak accident.

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