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What is up with all these drownings lately?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by oomp, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. oomp

    oomp Contributing Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    Likes Received:
    June 5, 2007, 1:47PM
    Harris County toddler found near death in pool

    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

    A 2-year-old boy being watched by a teen along with several other children was found near death in a home swimming pool in northwest Harris County late this morning, officials said.

    Emergency workers "initially found a faint pulse" and transported the child to a hospital, Harris County sheriff's spokesman Lt. John Martin said.

    Martin said the child's is one of a set of twins who was being cared for at the home.

    He said two other children, 8 and 10, spotted the child in the pool and pulled the child out of the water.

    "The 15-year-old called 911," Martin said.

    Five area children have drowned between Saturday and Monday.

    Today's reported near-drowning occurred in the 7900 block of Huddersfield Court, Martin said.

    Martin said he did not have an accurate count of how many children were in the 15-year-old's care when the toddler got into the pool.

    On Monday, two children drowned in seperate incidents. One boy followed his puppy to a retention pond. Another crawled through a fence and slipped into his neighbor's backyard swimming pool. By nightfall Monday, both toddlers were dead, adding to a weekend marked by tragedies with one common denominator: lack of parental supervision.

    Two-year-old Darius Allen, who had been left in the care of two older siblings in north Harris County, was the first to die Monday, following the drowning deaths Saturday of a Missouri City brother and sister and a Houston boy on Sunday. Late Monday, a 3-year-old who drowned in a neighbor's pool in Tomball became the fifth area child in recent days to die in an accident involving water.

    Child Protective Services will investigate the case of Darius Allen and may investigate that of the unidentified 3-year-old, said Estella Olguin, agency spokeswoman.

    "We've been seeing a lot of this toddlers get out of the house and get into pools and ponds. The common denominator is that all of them involved children not being supervised by an adult," Olguin said.

    Harris County sheriff's deputies searched for Darius for about an hour before they discovered him floating in a shallow pond near his home. Coco, his beloved puppy, was found sitting on the bank near a pair of flip flops.

    "This is one of the worst days of my life it really is," said Sheila Henry, the grief-stricken step-grandmother of the boy.

    As the Allen family and relatives grieved over the loss of their toddler Monday evening, another family's pain was just beginning.

    The unidentified 3-year-old was taken to Tomball Regional Medical Center after being pulled from a neighbor's swimming pool in the 9000 block of Deerwick Court about 8 p.m. Authorities with the Harris County Sheriff's Office said the boy crawled through a hole in a fence and fell into the pool.

    So far this year, 10 local children have been reported as drowning victims. The numbers, while grim, are lower than at this point in 2006, when 14 Houston area juveniles had drowned.

    The total juvenile drowning figures for last year were 27, according to officials with Harris County Child Protective Services.

    Harris County sheriff's deputies said Darius was left in the care of his 11-year-old sister and brother, 7, when their parents went to work.

    Kenya Allen, the victim's sister, noticed that Darius was missing about 10 a.m., along with Coco, the family's puppy. She called her mother, who then notified the Harris County Sheriff's Department, officials said.

    Deputies quickly responded to the family's home in the 22000 block of Queensbury Hills.

    "They started searching door-to-door to see if anybody might have seen the 2-year-old," said Harris County sheriff's Sgt. Bryan Pair.

    As they scoured the area, the deputies saw the pond behind the homes in the Imperial Garden subdivision. The mud-covered bottom lies under at least 2 feet of water, with algae scattered across the surface.

    "The deputies noticed what appeared to be a body floating in the water," said Pair, with the sheriff's homicide division. "Upon further investigation, they learned it was in fact the missing 2-year-old."

    Lot near pond not fenced

    Family members believe Darius might have chased after the puppy after it escaped through a partially opened garage door. While fences surround the yards in the relatively new subdivision, a bare lot leading toward the retention pond is not enclosed.

    "Whether he slipped or whether he intended to go in (the pond), we don't know," Pair said.

    While searching the area, deputies found a pair of flip-flop sandals, about the size a 2-year-old might wear, lying on the bank of the pond.

    "The puppy was right there where the shoes were found," Pair said.

    A lack of adult supervision is a deadly factor in most child drowning cases, CPS officials said.

    "It's concerning because it's just the beginning of the summer," Olguin said. "We hope that parents remember that they have to supervise their children."

    Although no charges have been filed, sheriff's detectives will review Darius' drowning with CPS and the Harris County District Attorney's Office, "to see how we proceed from here," Pair said Monday.

    When older children drown, it often happens in an apartment-complex swimming pool. For toddlers, death can occur in a backyard pool or a neighborhood pond as was the case with Darius, Olguin said.

    Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under 4, said Kristine Meyerson, an aquatic specialist with the YMCA of Greater Houston. She said her organization teaches water safety techniques to children as young as six months but stressed that constant adult supervision is critical.

    While the most recent juvenile drownings occurred outside, CPS officials said unattended bathtubs, toilets or mop buckets inside the home can also prove deadly.

    Deaths over the weekend

    On Saturday, a Missouri City brother and sister were found in Oyster Creek, near their family's home. Cimpson Simon, 12, and Sharon Simon, 10, were reported missing Friday night from the home in the 4500 block of Shadow Briar.

    The children's father thought they were playing downstairs. Their absence was noticed about 9 p.m. when their mother returned home work.

    The children's shoes were found Saturday morning on the edge of Oyster Creek. Houston Police dive team members discovered the girl's body about 7:30 a.m. Her brother was found about five hours later.

    On Sunday, a 10-year-old Houston boy wading in the waters near San Luis Pass drowned after stepping into a deep hole.

    Oscar Isaac Perez, of the 14000 block of West Hardy, was walking with his family about noon Sunday when he dropped into the water-filled hole, Brazoria County sheriff's officials said.

    On Monday, dozens of friends and family members stopped by the Allen home to console each other over Darius' death. Henry, the boy's step-grandmother, said Darius' parents were having a hard time dealing with his loss.

    "They're not doing too well," she said.

    The victim's 7-year-old brother, Jermaine, hugged Coco to his chest while he stood outside with Henry. He said he'd miss playing with his little brother.

    "It'll be hard," he said.

    Chronicle reporter Jennifer Leahy contributed.

    mike.glenn@chron.com; dale.lezon@chron.com


    5 kids in three days is horrible. Parents - what do you tell your kids to keep them safe? My son is way to young now, but we live near a bayou - so it's an issue that will eventually come up.
  2. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    May 22, 2006
    Likes Received:
    i think the article said it best...lack of parental supervision.
  3. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I've drowned a couple of times as a kid (yes I was a really dumb kid).. but someone was always there to save me.
  4. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    What is up with all these drownings? It's summer! People suppose to be swimming! :D

    EDIT: That wasn't funny at all. I apologize. :( I feel bad for myself. :(

    I meant to say that the reason for so many drownings is the change of climate.
    #4 SwoLy-D, Jun 5, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  5. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    You failed at drowning more than once?

  6. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

    Mar 31, 2000
    Likes Received:
    The latest one was in Memorial Northwest on a street that some friends of mine used to live in. I wonder if it was their former house.

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