Friends and first responders remember fallen rescue diver

Lori Pohanka-Kalama, a member of the Morgan's Point Resort Police Dive Team, was remembered by fellow first responders and friends Monday.

KILLEEN - A Morgan's Point Resort volunteer rescue diver died while searching for a missing Fort Hood man. The man who went missing April 11 has not been seen since last Tuesday when his red Ford got swept into Clear Creek on Fort Hood in raging flood waters.

The diver, Lori Pohanka-Kalama, worked as a speech pathologist at Kidz Therapeze -- a local therapy business. Owner Dr. Kelly Barr and her coworkers said they were devastated by the loss of Lori.

Lori was pulled from House Creek Saturday evening after Fort Hood Emergency Services received a diver in distress call. She was transported to Baylor Scott and White where she died Sunday morning.

"So many families are struggling because they've become attached to her as well," Dr. Barr said.

Dr. Barr said Lori died doing what she loved. She was passionate about diving and her family.

"She pretty much worked to support her diving habit," Barr said.

She leaves behind two teenage sons and an extended family of more than 90 patients, ranging in age from toddlers to middle schoolers.

"The families that have seen her have relayed she was like family to them," Barr explained. She told Channel 6 Lori was so successful with her patients the parents could not imagine changing therapists.

The diving community is a small, close-knit group, said Darrell Adams, a dive team captain in North Carolina.

"Public safety diving is a low frequency, high risk kind of thing." Adams said. "You just have to be prepared.  There's a lot of variables that can go wrong every day."

Condolences poured in from coast to coast on Monday.

A retired Sheriff's Deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Department told Channel 6, "every time I hear about tragic accidents or incidents, my heart goes out to the department and family."

 

 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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