Silt toddler followed dog to irrigation ditch |

Silt toddler followed dog to irrigation ditch

Further investigation by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department and an eyewitness’ comments have clarified the events leading up to the accidental drowning Monday evening of a Silt toddler.

Miles Grant Rippy II, 2, died Tuesday morning at Children’s Hospital in Denver. (An obituary appears on page 7.)

Miles spent the day Monday with his grandmother, Eva Graham, of Silt. Her home is in the Fox Run subdivision, between Silt and Rifle.

Miles’ father, Jeremy Rippy, arrived about 6:45 p.m. to pick him up.

Graham and Rippy sat inside talking, while watching the toddler through the window. Graham’s husband, Delbert Smith, was working outdoors on a fence, also keeping an eye on the boy as he played nearby.

Smith noticed that the toddler had disappeared, and went inside to see if he was there, the sheriff’s report stated.

Graham said she took off, barefooted, running through weeds and stickers toward the irrigation ditch. She knew to head that way because when she called her dog, he came running from the ditchbank.

“He followed the dog down there,” Graham said.

The sheriff’s report said Graham, Smith and Rippy searched the ditch in both directions.

Graham said she found the toddler, pulled him from the water and began giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Smith assisted, and another person ran to the home of a neighbor, Norm Gould, to call 911.

Gould raced over to help with lifesaving efforts.

Graham estimated that it took the ambulance crew 30 minutes to arrive.

“They need to learn these little roads up here,” she said Wednesday.

The boy was rushed to Clagett Memorial Hospital in Rifle and then flown to Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead the next morning.

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