Witness describes fatal Memorial Day tubing accident on Amite River

Photo provided by staff.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 12:19pm

Memorial Day fun on the Amite River in Livingston Parish turned deadly on Monday. Livingston Parish Sheriff's Deputies recovered the body of Jacques Demare, 21, of Folsom around 1:30 p.m. It was a frightening experience for the others on the river once they released what had happened.

"It was kind of sad hearing about someone else that came to the same event as you knowing that something happened a mishap," Terry Veillon, III said.

Veillon was tubing down the Amite along the Tiki Tubing route on Monday. He was not surprised to hear search helicopters flying along the route.

"They flew over for a little while. We were kind of making jokes about who they were looking for," he said. "I just thought it was a normal day."

Then he saw people running and swimming along the river looking for someone. That's when Veillon started to think something wasn't right.

"We were just like 'hey did you see the helicopters.' They were like this is what we heard and we kind of just put stories together," Veillon described. "Then we heard from the group that he came with 'hey man we were looking for our friend.' We didn't really think anything more of that until we got to the end. They said they had found him. "

Jacques Demare went missing during a tubing trip early Monday morning. Search crews discovered his body around 1:30 p.m. Deputies say Demare may have drowned.

"It's kind of demoralizing the fact that we come out here to have fun. We kind of just don't want to hear something like that," Veillon said.

Veillon said he plans on going back on the water again, but he'll never forget what he saw on the river.

Deputies say the investigation into Demare's death is on going.


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