What to Know
- Two sisters drowned after being knocked off their pontoon boat Sunday night on Lake Lewisville.
- Women were among a group celebrating one of their birthdays.
- Women who drowned were not wearing life preservers, which could have saved their lives, officials say.
Two women drowned after they fell from a boat in Lake Lewisville Sunday night, officials say.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials, 31-year-old Teegan Hill and 28-year-old Troinee Broom fell off the boat near Pilot Knoll Park in Highland Village at about 8 p.m. and never resurfaced.
Crews recovered their bodies late Sunday night.
Hill and Broom were two of four sisters, friends said. Hill was a Dallas attorney and Broom was a former teacher in the Duncanville Independent School District.
Hill's 31st birthday was Sunday and was being celebrated by a group chartering a pontoon boat Sunday.
Darius Jones, a close friend, was among those on board the boat when the sisters went overboard.
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"We were there to celebrate her life," Jones said.
Jones said the group set out around 4 p.m. and were hit by a couple of strong waves which sent water onto the deck.
He said a third, large wave hit just as the four-hour ride was about to wrap up.
"That one was massive and the boat was going under, like, the first two didn’t compare at all to the third one," Jones said.
Hill and Broom fell into the water.
Jones said the boat kept moving forward and by the time he grabbed a life jacket and swam back to where the sisters were, they were already submerged.
Highland Village Fire Chief Michael Thomson said crews arrived on the scene just before 8 p.m. and continued to search until Hill and Broom were found at about 12:30 a.m.
"We thought that the benefit of providing some closure to the families outweighed the additional risk to the divers," Thomson said, of the divers continuing to search after sundown.
Thomson said the outcome could've been different if Hill and Broom were wearing life preservers.
Jones said the group was initially scheduled to take two pontoon boats out Sunday but was told by the charter company only one was available.
Jones said half the people that were supposed to attend were told they couldn't because they were told one boat could hold about 12 people.
Jones said 11 passengers and a captain were on board when the accident happened.
"It was her birthday and I just think that's one positive thing that I can get out of this is that she was having fun and enjoying herself," Jones said through tears.
"Teegan J. Hill was a gifted attorney and a blessing to all that knew her. She truly was a 'one of a kind.' The Bassett Firm is saddened by the tragic loss of Teegan and her sister. We are praying for all of their family and friends during this very difficult time," attorney Mike H. Bassett said in a statement Tuesday.
Lewisville Fire Department, Game Wardens, Highland Village police and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rangers assisted in the search.
Game Wardens are investigating.