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PTC girl, 9, drowns in Chattahoochee

A 9-year-old Peachtree City girl died Friday afternoon when she drowned while riding an inner tube in the Chattahoochee River in Forsyth County, officials said.

The victim was identified as Anna Vanhorn by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. She was reported missing on the river just after 4:30 p.m. Friday, officials said.

When water rescue teams found Vanhorn, she was about eight feet underwater with her life preserver on, said Capt. Jason Shivers with the Forsyth County Fire Department.

Because the river water is so cold, the emergency crews held out hope that Vanhorn might survive, so she was brought to the surface and CPR was initiated, Shivers said. But some time later Vanhorn was pronounced dead at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, he said.

At the time she went missing, Vanhorn was floating in an inner tube with a small group of people and water was being released from Buford Dam, which increases the flow in the area, Shivers said.

Because of that increased flow, a Forsyth Fire crew started downstream hoping to catch Vanhorn floating with the current in her life preserver. At the same time, another crew from Gwinnett County entered upstream and worked toward the location.

The other people in the party were able to make it safely to the bank of the river, Shivers said.



ginga1414's picture

My heart is broken for this child and her family!

I have a granddaughter close to Anna's age. The pain must be unbearable!

things--life preserver, etc. Losing a child has to be the worst thing a family every has to endure. My heart breaks for this family.

It is sad but an accident and accidents happen no matter what you do. I hope she went without pain and with just the memory of the fun she had prior to the accident. I hope the family is not torturing themselves with "what-ifs". We can't lock our kids up in front of the tv forever and the quality of life has decreased partially due to this protective attitude. I salute the family for wanting to have a day of fun outdoors in the sun. I am so sorry that they have suffered a great loss by this "accident".

MajorMike's picture

No parent (or Grandparent) should have to bear the pain of outliving a child. I'm not sure that I could take it.

ginga1414's picture

Me too!

NUK_1's picture

I doubt I could either, MM.

Cyclist's picture

My prayers to the child's family and friends.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

tgarlock's picture

I was thinking of writing a column about a family's gratitude since Kristen is back to normal after very nearly drowning and a tough couple of days in ICU. Now with the loss the VanHorn family has suffered, losing a girl the same age as Kristen, I think it would be better to simply offer our profound and deeply felt sympathies.

Terry Garlock, PTC

JeffC's picture

We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you.

PTC Observer's picture

to read this news.

Our prayers are with you.

Mike King's picture

...and if words could comfort, I simply offer an old Irish/Celtic prayer:

May you see God's light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.

My humble condolences.

ginga1414's picture

Thank you so much for sending along the Irish/Celtic prayer.

I'm sure it will be a comfort to Anna's family and friends.

Many other hearts will be touched and comforted by your prayer, also.


I lost my son due to an accident. It's the most tragic thing that can happen to a parent, so I know what they feel and are going through. Take comfort in the Lord. You will never get over the loss, but TIME heals, and only time. My family will pray for your family.

Derry Collins

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