‘Zack’s Law’ proposal hopes to save young lives after tragedy

Zack Rager drowned in the Chehalis River two years ago. His family hopes the law can help others not to face a similar fate.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Zack Rager’s family hopes to save others from the tragedy they’ll have to endure in 2021 with a House proposal they’re supporting.

HB 1004 will require a sign at the bridge where Rager jumped into the Chehalis River on March 23, 2021. Rager was with friends and jumped into the river from that bridge several times, but he drowned after when the Lewis County Coroner determined the teen suffered from cold water shock.

Kimberly Hines, Zack’s mother, said: “If I could leave this legacy to Zack in Washington… and it saved someone’s life, my son wouldn’t have died in vain.”

Hines said his body starts to shut down seconds after hitting the water, which can be below 50 degrees.

“I never heard of cold water shock until I lost my son,” a tearful Hines told state senators during an earlier legislative hearing on the bill.

HB 1004 will also create an avenue for governments to work with individuals and communities to install signs warning of the dangers of cold water shock drowning in appropriate locations.

Kimberly Hines said: “I knew it would save someone’s life.

If passed, it will be called “Zack’s Law”.

According to Representative Peter Abbarno, (R) Lewis County, the bill’s sponsor, it would cost about $21,000 a year to install and maintain signage on the Chehalis River.

“For us, being able to send that alert to make it possible for a person to pause, maybe not jump in and think about the possible danger there, I think it’s worth doing,” Abbarno said. .

The bill was unanimously approved by the House Transportation Committee and is currently awaiting debate in the House.

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https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/state-politics/zacks-law-proposal-cold-water-shock/281-d1a70380-b3de-4bd3-8283-4934d0d1d930 ‘Zack’s Law’ proposal hopes to save young lives after tragedy

Edmund DeMarche

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