It's a sad day for Darlyne Klages, who prayed one year ago today that the SeaWorld accident she heard about from a coworker didn't involve her sister, Northwest Indiana native Dawn Brancheau, a trainer of 15 years.
Sadly, Klages had a gut feeling that it did.
Brancheau died during an incident following a SeaWorld show with Tilikum, a six-ton orca whale. Tilikum suddenly pulled the trainer by her hair and dragged her underwater, killing her in front of a shocked audience.
One year later, Klages, 47, remembers all too vividly the events of that day, she tells the Chicago Tribune in a rare interview.
She told the paper she called her sister after hearing about the accident, but there was no response. She left a message saying, "Please tell me this isn't you."
The family has since started the Dawn Brancheau Foundation, a tribute to the trainer and her legacy of helping others.
SeaWorld continues to perform its "Believe" show with Tilikum absent and without trainers in the water. After five years, a new show will begin in its place next month.
For Klages and her family, today will be spent remembering better times and a sister who Klages says, "showed us how to live a good life."