By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Man dies after drowning in Walnut Creek
drowning map
This aerial view shows the area of the accidental drowning that occurred northwest of Great Bend Wednesday morning.

A rural Great Bend man died of an accidental drowning Wednesday morning northwest of Great Bend after tumbling down an embankment into a creek, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. 

At about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Barton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a location on the Wet Walnut Creek near 387 NW 40th Rd., northwest of Great Bend. 911 had received a call of an unresponsive individual in the water at that location after a family member had called to report they had located Manuel Castillo, age 20, in the creek, the sheriff said. 

The Great Bend Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services had also arrived at the scene and began resuscitation efforts. Castillo was transported to University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus in Great Bend where he was later pronounced dead.

Bellendir said a BCSO investigation indicated Castillo was walking along the creek bank and evidently fell approximately 40 feet down the embankment. Evidence of the fall was found at the scene. 

At that particular location, the embankment was covered with rock, metal rods and corrugated steel to prevent erosion, and Castillo received numerous abrasions and lacerations during the fall. Further investigation indicates he was incapacitated by the fall and went into about two feet of water.

Forensic examination by Dr. Lyle Norhook of Hays indicated the cause of death was drowning, the sheriff said. Preliminary findings indicate the death was accidental in nature.