TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The father of a 20-year-old University of Alabama student whose body was found Thursday in the Black Warrior River is speaking out about her death and wants answers.

Thomas Jones is planning on taking legal action against the US Army Corp of Engineers who are in charge of the Oliver Lock and Dam in Northport where Kirsten Jones went overboard this week.

Thomas Jones believes they are at fault for his daughter’s death and he wants better safety measures installed to keep boaters safe.

“This will not go away if it takes me years I will push and something will be done out there because it’s senseless because you can’t see the lights or the signs. Could a net be put up to prevent boats from going over the edge when the water gets too high? Sure. Could it be barricaded off so boats are even allowed there?” Thomas Jones said.

Kirsten Jones and two other boaters went overboard while on the Black Warrior River Tuesday night.

“It’s just horrific and it makes me sick to my stomach just knowing this could have been avoided,” Jones said.

Thomas Jones says his daughter was a wonder and special young woman. She was a good student studying to become a health care worker in the medical field.  Kirsten Jones was a member of a sorority.

“She was an amazing young girl and still is in my heart she is not gone and she will be with us and all of her friends and I know her and she wouldn’t want any of us to be sad. As beautiful as she was on the outside, and pretty and just an amazing person. She was twice as beautiful on the inside,” he said.

CBS 42 reached out to get a comment from Army Corp of Engineers for their side of the story, but our phone calls were not returned. Thomas Jones says funeral arrangements for his daughter are being made and he expects services to take place next week in Florida.


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