Mary Helen Collier remembers her godson Kenneth Haynes Jr. as a happy child who was full of energy.

“He was a very happy kid,” said Collier. A lot of energy you know. Running and playing you know."

Tragically Kenneth died Sunday at Collier’s Ferry Park when he fell into the Neches River and drowned.

“He was backing away from someone that was shooting water at him,” said Collier. “One of those big guns. And he kept backing away from the water (gun), and he fell off the pier.”

Mary Helen hopes that those in charge of Collier’s Ferry Park, will make changes to hopefully prevent another tragedy like this.

“I don't want that to happen to another kid,” said Collier. “Where they fall off the pier. That's where I’m hoping Collier Park will take a little responsibility.”

While warning signs are posted, she would like one that says *no children allowed* in the area where Kenneth fell. She would also like to see some kind of fencing put up to prevent another deadly fall.

12News spoke with park manager, Jimmy Neale and he says there are no plans to add fencing because it would make it hard for people to access the water.  


The godmother of a seven year-old boy who drowned on Easter Sunday at Collier's Ferry Park in Beaumont is hoping that something can be done to prevent another child from drowning in the same spot.

The body of Kenneth Haynes, Jr., 7, was recovered by divers with the Beaumont Fire Department  over an hour after he fell off a dock into the Neches River Sunday afternoon according to the Beaumont Police Department.

Mary Helen Collier, who is Haynes' godmother, spoke to 12News and said that she is hoping that something can be done to keep other children from falling off the dock into the river.

HELP | GoFundMe for Haynes' family

Collier said that Haynes was backing up as another child was squirting him with a water gun when he fell into the river.

She said that Haynes was a very happy child that loved to play and was full of energy.

Beaumont Police received the call at approximately 3:21 p.m. Sunday after Haynes, who family members say could not swim, fell off the dock while playing with squirt guns according to witnesses at the scene.

Haynes was at the park with his family and had just participated in an Easter egg hunt with other children before the incident happened according to witnesses.