The Vermont State Police disseminate press releases for significant criminal or public safety incidents and arrests, but it is not intended to document every public contact or response to a call-for-service. If you have a question regarding an incident or case, please contact your local state police barracks or the public information officer. Please note press releases are available on this blog for 6 months following their public release. Please contact the public information officer if you need access to one that is older.

Search This Blog

July 7, 2016

Re: Press Release - Button Bay State Park

******Updated Press Release**********

On July 7, 2016 at approximately 0400 hours, Jason Russell of Starksboro passed away due to injuries sustained the night prior at Button Bay State Park. 

On Jul 7, 2016, at 12:29 AM, Daley, Matthew <> wrote:







CASE#: 16C202093

TROOPER: Sgt. Matthew Daley                                 

STATION:   New Haven                  

CONTACT#: 802-388-4919


DATE/TIME: July 6, 2016 at approximately 16:59 hours.


LOCATION: Button Bay State Park, Ferrisburgh, VT






On July 6, 2016 at approximately 16:59 hours, the Vermont State Police were notified of a juvenile swimmer at Button Bay State Park who was having trouble swimming. 


Just prior to the 911 call, a juvenile male was attempting to swim from shore  to a small island a short distance away, located within the Button Bay State Park.  As the juvenile was approximately half way to the island he appeared to have trouble swimming.  At this point the juvenile yelled to the shore for help and his father Jason Russell (36) of Starksboro, jumped into the water to save his son. 


As Jason was swimming to the juvenile it was reported that Jason started to have trouble swimming.  Despite having difficulty Jason was able to get to his son and lift him out of the water.  At this point, Jason started to submerge under water while elevating his son. 


As rescue personal responded to the scene Aaron Morris (36) of Starksboro the juvenile's mother, was able to find a kayak and paddle out to the juvenile and Jason's location.  The juvenile was able to hang onto the front of the kayak, however at this point Jason was unresponsive.  Aaron grabbed Jason and attempted to lift him out of the water.  Another boat saw what was going on and came  to assist Aaron.  The juvenile was lifted into the boat and attempts were made to secure Jason into the same boat, however, they were unsuccessful.  An additional boat arrived on scene and assisted with lifting Jason out of the water. 


Both the juvenile and Jason were transported from the water to the boat launch area within the State Park.  The juvenile and Jason  were met by Vergennes Rescue, Ferrisburgh Fire Department, Middlebury Rescue and Charlotte Rescue.  These departments worked tirelessly together to revive Jason who was still unresponsive when he reached the shore.


Both the juvenile and Jason were transported to UVM Medical Center in Burlington, VT.  The juvenile was evaluated and released and Jason was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at UVM Medical Center.


It does not appear that alcohol or drugs played any role in the incident.


This incident is still under investigation and any witnesses are asked to call the New Haven State Police Barrack at (802)-388-4919 any with information.



Sergeant Matthew Daley

Patrol Commander – New Haven Barracks

Vermont State Police

P.O.Box 83

New Haven, VT 05472

P: 802-388-4919

F: 802-453-7918