19-year-old dies after drowning incident in the Kickapoo River

A Vernon County (Wis.) Sheriff's Office squad vehicle.
A Vernon County (Wis.) Sheriff's Office squad vehicle.(Vernon County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:25 PM CDT
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VERNON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - The Vernon County Sheriff is reporting a drowning occurred on Thursday June 1, 2023, at around 1:15 p.m., in rural Ontario, Wis. in the Town of Whitestown.

According to a media release from the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, 19-year-old Aundra Keaton Jr. of Middleton, Wis. was tubing on the Kickapoo River with a small group of people. The group stopped to swim.

The media release says Keaton experienced a deep drop off and went under. Keaton was not wearing a life preserver. A person in his group attempted to rescue him but was unsuccessful.

According to the media release, around 2:51 p.m., Keaton’s body was recovered from the River and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Vernon County Coroner.

Assisting the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office was the Ontario Fire Department, Ontario Ambulance Service, La Farge Fire Department, La Farge Ambulance Service, Wisconsin State Patrol, Vernon County Emergency Management, a ranger from Wildcat Mountain State Park, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The incident is under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and the Vernon County Coroner.