Fundraising effort seeks fence near Eagle River where 3-year old drowned
Describing the area where 3-year-old Sebastian Rodriguez Castro was playing before he drowned as “an unsafe area of the river where many children play,” a local woman has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for fence construction in the area.
The Eagle County Coroner’s Office released a statement July 8 identifying the body of a child found July 3 in the Eagle River as the missing 3-year-old. The boy went missing on June 5, as the Eagle River was near its peak flow for the season. He was playing on a nearby playground in the moments before he disappeared.
Nearby resident Diana Maastch, in starting the fundraising effort to build the fence, said she has been viewing the area for many years, and has always thought there should be a fence above the river for safety.
“Eagle Villas is a large complex and they have a lot of children that play on the property,” Maastch wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I would like to think if there was a fence along the property that sweet little Sebastian wouldn’t have made it to the river. It could have been a deterrent for him, a way to buy time for his parents to find him.”
Maastch describes herself as a 20-year resident of Eagle County, the parent of a 5-year old and a citizen that was devastated by the loss of Sebastian.
“We need to step up as a community and help build a fence along the river. We need to keep our children safe. This is a commonly traveled path and it needs to be made more safe for our community. Let’s be honest, it could have happened to anyone and we don’t want it to happen again,” Maastch wrote.
The effort received an early influx of donations, with 30 different people donating nearly $4,000 as of Sunday. An anonymous donor contributed $2,500. The GoFundMe page has a $20,000 goal and no expiration date listed.
Maastch said she was humbled by the immediate support.
“I can’t even explain what this means to me,” she wrote. “This is going to be great for our community. Please keep sharing this page so we can reach as many people as possible!”