Accidental Drowning Death of Gotham Joseph Smiles

Dallas, TX: Gotham Joseph Smiles, 24 yrs, a student at Louisiana State University (LSU) died in a water rafting accident on Sat., Sept 4th at 8:00 PM (CST). Joseph went to Mississippi along with eight other friends to experience a Canoe trip and drowned in water when their boat flipped. Joseph was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident; life guards jumped in to water to save him but it was already too late.

Joseph, native of Visakhapatnam, after graduating with B. Tech from MVGR Engineering College, Vijayanagaram came to USA in January 2009 and joined LSU to pursue Masters in Engineering and he is in the last semester to complete his education. Joseph is survived by his father Samuel Smiles, Deputy General Manager at BHPV, Visakhapatnam and mother Hemalatha, micro biology Professor at Andhra University and a sister who is pursuing B. Tech at Geetham College of Engineering.

Parents and friends of Joseph are in deep shock; Samuel requested TANA to help send the remains of Joseph at the earliest convenience to pay last respects to his only son. Union Minister Daggubati Purandeswari called Prasad Thotakura enquired about the accident and requested to speed up the process and offered any help in contacting US authorities or Ministry of External Affairs of Indian Government officials in expediting the case.

“It is very sad to lose a young person in this tragic way. TANA South East Regional Director Purna Veerapaneni, TANA Secretary Mohan Nannapaneni, TANA Team square volunteers, Umesh, Vamsee, Raja and several friends of Joseph are working on the case. Once the needed documents are obtained from Mississippi state officials, Consulate General of India, Houston office will complete the paper work and we are expecting the remains of Joseph will reach Visakhapatnam by 8th September. On behalf of all our TANA members, we offer our deepest condolences to Gotham family”, said Prasad Thotakura, TANA Executive Vice President.

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