Terrible tragedy in Lemoore as local man dies in storm drain seeking lost keys

By The Leader Staff

A young Lemoore man tragically lost his life late Saturday night when he entered a storm drain inlet attempting to retrieve a set of keys. The incident occurred about 9:30 p.m. on August 12 at the corner of Spyglass and Augusta streets near a neighborhood pocket park.

According to city officials, Christopher Opinion, a 2015 Lemoore High School graduate, and West Hills College student, was skateboarding with friends when his keys disappeared into the storm drain. Respondents to the scene indicated he entered the storm drain at about 9:30 p.m. to find his keys and failed to exit.

Emergency crews, including the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department, Lemoore Police Department, Naval Air Station Lemoore Fire Department, Lemoore Public Works, Kings County Fire, and the Kings County Sheriff’s department were on the scene.

A “confined space” crew from NAS Lemoore and Kings County found the body approximately 75 feet from the entry point at about 2:15 a.m.

The storm drain connects to a nearby ponding basin said Lemoore Fire Chief John Gibson who was called to the scene late Saturday night. Before crews could enter the space, rescue workers spent 30-40 minutes pumping water from the drain into the nearby basin.

The young man was with two friends when he entered the storm drain. 

"This is not an entry that anyone should attempt," said Gibson. "You don't know what's down there."


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