EL CENTRO - An accident occurred Friday afternoon during an emergency response effort in the Ash Canal, which resulted in critical injuries to Jonathan Burnworth, a member of the Imperial Irrigation District’s dive team.
On Saturday, IID officials learned that Burnworth, 32, passed away in a San Diego hospital, according to a recently released statement from the district offices.
“At this time,” said IID General Manager Kevin Kelley in the statement, “the district grieves with the Burnworth and West families on the loss of their loved one and of a valued IID employee. While we cannot say with precision what might have caused this tragic accident, that investigation is already under way and will no doubt be exhaustive."
“In the meantime, though, we‘re going to focus on the human aspect of this situation and do all we can as an organization to support these families and join with them in mourning this great loss,” continued Kelley.
An IID regulatory and emergency planning coordinator, Burnworth entered the Ash Canal at about 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26 in response to a reported submerged vehicle and somehow lost consciousness while in the water, according to the report.
According to the IID, Burnworth was transported to El Centro Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to UCSD Trauma Center in Hillcrest, where he passed away at 6:26 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.