13-year-old drowns at Blount County dam

Blount County Sheriff's Office said a 12-year-old drowned at Peery's Mill Dam. (BCSO)

BLOUNT CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Blount County Sheriff's Office said a 13-year-old girl died in a drowning at Peery's Mill Dam on Thursday.

BCSO said deputies and the Blount County Fire Department responded to a call of Wednesday shortly before 4 p.m. at Peery's Mill Dam on East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Walland.

First responders arrived to see individuals performing CPR on Alexis Shirley, and officials carried her to the river bank. She was taken by an ambulance to East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Authorities said the child died as a result of an accidental drowning.

"My deputies and I are heartbroken at the loss of this young girl,” Sheriff James Lee Berrong said. “Her death is a tragedy, and a stark reminder that life can be all too short.”

A Maryville man drowned at Peery's Mill on May 30, 2018, while another man was rescued by the Blount Special Operations Response Team on August 4, 2018 after he became trapped by rushing water.

BCSO is continuing to investigate the incident.

Correction: An initial report from Blount County Sheriff's Office said Alexis Shirley was 12, but in fact, she was 13.

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