GULF SHORES, AL. (WHAS 11)--A tragic week for a Louisville family vacationing in the Gulf Shores, after a father died saving his daughter from the waters in Alabama.
Kevin Chitwood, 50, died Tuesday afternoon, a day after authorities say he was swept up by a rip tide off the coast of Fort Morgan. Witnesses say his daughter and a friend were in distress when he went in to help them.
Baldwin County Coroner Stan Vinson says Chitwood was transported to the ICU at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center on Monday around 7 p.m. He died around 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The cause of death was drowning.
“The surf was very rough out there," Vinson said. “His daughter was saved, but unfortunately, he didn’t make it.”
Chitwood was a member of the Turners Circus in Louisville. The company posted this message on its Facebook Tuesday:
"Our hearts are impossibly broken by the news of the loss of our friend, Kevin Chitwood, who passed away this afternoon due to an accident while on family vacation. Kevin was a friend to all, and a hardworking member of our club. Whether he was backstage at the circus, filming a routine, lifting his daughter in the air, working the snack bar at the pool, managing the pool, painting the pool, or any other of the tasks he took on-- he had a smile on his face. We share our deepest condolences with his family. Kevin, you will be deeply missed."
Cindy Law, Turner Circus' Gym Manager & Instructor, released a statement later on Wednesday:
"Turners has been blessed to know and love Kevin Chitwood. He was a loving husband, father and friend and his passing was tragic and took a true gem from all of us. We join the rest of you in praying for healing and understanding for his family and friends, and thank everyone for their sympathies for us, but more importantly his wife and daughter."