Parents of toddler killed at Tennessee state park seek $900K

Posted at 8:33 AM, Jul 04, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The parents of a 2-year-old boy who died at a Tennessee state park last month are seeking $900,000 in damages from the state.

Attorney Christopher Smith tells The Tennessean that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation was negligent in not having made Cummins Falls State Park safer.

Steven Pierce of Kentucky was at the park with his family when he was swept away in a flash flood as his family tried to evacuate. State Parks Assistant Chief Ranger J.R. Tinch said water rose to dangerous levels in 2 minutes. Steven’s body was found hours later.

The claim filed Friday says the park shouldn’t have been open as heavy rain and possible flooding closed it in preceding days. The state has three months to approve or deny the claim.