Man dies in lake at East Fork State Park

A Cincinnati man died after an incident at East Fork State Park July 31.

David L. Smith, 58, of Cincinnati was pronounced dead at Mercy Health-Clermont Hospital after being pulled from Harsha Lake at approximately 5 p.m. July 31.

According to Bethany McCorkle, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Smith was visiting the lake with several other people and was swimming just outside the designated swim area near the beach.

“He motioned for help and his party got to him just after he went under,” McCorkle said. “A bystander did CPR, EMS came and he was taken to Clermont Mercy where he was pronounced dead.”

McCorkle said the official cause of death has not been released yet.

She said blood work did reveal that Smith had been under the influence of alcohol during the time of the accident.

“We did get the blood work back already and alcohol was involved,” McCorkle said.

McCorkle said ODNR officials want to remind people that alcohol and water do not mix, and using caution while swimming in general is important.

“We encourage people to stay within their swimming skill set,” McCorkle said. “If you are not a strong swimmer don’t go too deep.”

McCorkle said they also encourage people to stay in groups so in case of an emergency someone is able to seek help.

She said Ohio State Park officers are continuing to investigate the incident involving Smith and are waiting for the coroner’s report. She said they expect a full report in a couple of weeks.