DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) — Nearly one year ago on Father’s Day, Keith Hilliard went to Tiki Tubing to float down the Amite River with his family. But what should have been a fun day turned into a nightmare when Hilliard fell out of the tube and drowned. Now, his family wants justice.
The wrongful death suit filed in the Middle District Court of Louisiana describes a family’s painful loss, and in it, they say the death of their husband and father could have been prevented.
The suit claims Hilliard’s wife, Lisa, called Tiki Tubing ahead of their trip and asked if it was safe for her husband to come despite him not being able to swim.
She said in the suit the employee assured her the river was safe and if anyone fell out of their tube a person could simply stand up if they fell out of the tube because the water was only waist-deep.
The family said they cannot comment while the case is going through the legal system but after Hilliard’s death, Lisa spoke with BRPROUD about the experience.
“I wish we weren’t there,” Lisa said in a previous interview. “We should not have been there. They told us it was safe. It was waist-high to shallow water. We didn’t have anything to worry about. You put us on a bus and drive us to my husband’s death.”
The suit also claims Tiki Tubing told Lisa life jackets were only available for children. The family is looking for Tiki Tubing to cover damages including burial and funeral expenses, loss of earnings, and medical expenses.
Yesterday, the owner of Tiki Tubing, John Fore, was charged with one count of sexual battery after a complaint from a juvenile in Livingston Parish. BRPROUD reached out to Fore through Tiki Tubing but was unable to get a comment.