Teen drowns at Kiva Beach | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Teen drowns at Kiva Beach

William Ferchland

A 19-year-old man from Fairfield died Tuesday afternoon from an apparent drowning in a couple feet of water at Kiva Beach, authorities said.

William Matthew Lockwood was pronounced dead at Barton Memorial Hospital at 3:41 p.m., roughly an hour after emergency personnel received a report on the possible drowning.

“I’ve never seen CPR performed that long on somebody,” said Steve Parris, who worked at the nearby visitors’ booth.

The half-moon shaped Lake Tahoe beach was busy with children, artists drawing depictions of Mt. Tallac and other beachgoers as attempts were made to save Lockwood’s life.

Matthew Wedin, a vocational nurse in Carson City, said he helped pull an unconscious Lockwood from about four feet of water in Taylor Creek, which empties into Lake Tahoe at the beach. Wedin performed chest compressions as a female breathed air into Lockwood’s lungs. Lockwood was apparently at the beach with family members.

“He was totally unconscious,” Wedin said. “His whole stomach was filled with water but he had a pulse.”

Wedin said the pulse was faint if not gone when paramedics arrived. A CALSTAR helicopter landed at the beach, but wasn’t loaded with the patient since Lockwood’s heart rate wouldn’t stabilize, said Brad Piazzo, acting battalion chief at South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

After some trouble locating Lockwood, emergency personnel loaded him on a marine boat which transported him closer to the beach’s trail head and the parking lot. “From our side of it we definitely did all we could do,” Piazzo said.

El Dorado County sheriff’s Coroner Larry Olsen said an autopsy is pending. Olsen said Lockwood had some medical issues but would not elaborate.

“We don’t know what caused him to go down and drown, but something happened,” Olsen said.

Parris said it was the first drowning at the beach he has heard of during his eight years working in the area.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.