Liberty County water park under inspection after toddler's drowning

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Investigators will the decide if Nine Mile Ranch meets the criteria for amusement park rides (KTRK)

The Texas Department of Insurance is now asking questions following about a Liberty County water park, following the death there for a two-year-old boy.

Investigators have contacted the Nine Mile Ranch to find out about the types of attractions offered. They will the decide if those meet the criteria for amusement park rides which require $1 million in liability insurance and an annual safety inspection.

The two-year-old boy died Saturday at the park, located in the 700 block of County Road 650 in South Liberty County. The Liberty County Sheriff's Office concluded the death was a tragic accident.

Sheriff's spokesperson, Captain Ken Defoor said, "There's simply no violation of any Liberty County ordinances that we can act upon."

Autopsy results on the boy are still pending.

The boy's parents did not return our repeated calls for comment. A family member said they were not prepared yet to speak about the incident. Eyewitness News has learned this is the second drowning at the facility in the last year. Previously, a man in his 30's died.

"We didn't do anything wrong." She claims they require parents to have their children wear life jackets but insists "I can't make parents do anything," Nine Mile Ranch owner Debra Persell said.

Persell says the parents of the little boy left him unattended.

A spokesperson for the Department of Insurance tells Eyewitness News the state is not investigating the boy's death because it did not occur during a ride. The entity does not regulate water parks as a whole, only individual rides.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family of the little boy with funeral expenses. If you are interested in learning more about how to donate, you can click here.
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