Reno, NV Drowning May 1953
Inquest for Two Drowned Boys Is Conducted Here
Last Chapter Written In Last Week's Tragedy
Final chapter in the latest Truckee River tragedy was written yesterday, when a coroner's jury found that STEVEN EARL CAIRNS, 12, and JAY DARRELL CAIRNS, 10, died of "suffocation due to drowning" last Saturday morning.
Testimony at the inquest substantiated earlier reports that the two brothers were fishing near the 2800 block of Idlewild Road when they decided to wade across the river.
The younger boy, Jay, slipped and fell, and his brother plunged after him. The swift current carried both youths downstream. Steven's body was taken from the river opposite the buffalo pens at Idlewild Park, and Jay's body was retrieved near the Sierra St. bridge.
Witnesses who testified yesterday were Sgt. Larry Mumpower, resident of a rest home near the drowning scene, who tried without success to save the children: Sam Saibini, battalion chief of the Reno fire department; Richard Rowley, who went into the river at the Sierra St. bridge to retrieve the younger boy; Bob Williams, contractor, who was in on both rescue efforts, and Dr. Leo F. Convino, who testified as to the cause of death.
It was estimated by Williams that Steven was in the river for 18 minutes before his body was found at the park, while the younger boy was said to have been in the water more than 50 minutes.
Chief Saibini, Williams and the other witnesses said every possible effort was made to revive the youngsters, without avail.
Steven and Jay were the only children of Mr. and Mrs. Ray E. Cairns, 1010 W. Seventh St.
Nevada State Journal, Reno, NV 21 May 1953