On Wednesday night the city of Sioux Falls released the findings of an independent safety review of Falls Park. The review was conducted for the city by Alliant Insurance Services.
The study finds the city has taken several steps to make the area near the Falls safe, including the use of guard rails and properly worded signage in the area. But the report also finds several instances of people, often times younger people, ignoring obvious safety measures and putting themselves in close proximity with the Falls and the larger Big Sioux River.
The report makes three recommendations on further action the city could take at Falls Park. Those include;
(1) Making an existing sandy path area along the east river bank less accessible to visitors.
(2) Take action to eliminate rock formations that jut into the water at Falls Park from existing viewing platforms and stations.
(3) Extend an area of metal guard railing along the east bank of the river and north of the existing low head dam.
The Sioux Falls City Council approved an independent safety review this past August in response to the March 18th death of Maggie Zaiger. The 5-year-old died after falling into an area of foamy water below the pedestrian bridge at Falls Park. At the time eyewitnesses told KSFY News that they had observed the girl reaching for foam at the time she fell into the water. It was in this same area that two other people, Madison Wallace and Lyle Eagletail, drowned in 2013.
Zaiger's mother, Courtney Jayne, filed a lawsuit against the city of Sioux Falls in July of this year.
This is a developing story. Stay with KSFY News both on air and online for the latest.