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DROWNING DEATHS

In Everlasting Memory of the Shreveport, Louisiana Six:

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Takeitha Warner / Master JaMarcus Warner / Master JaTavious Warner / Master Litrelle Stewart / Master LaDairus Stewart / and Master Latevin Stewart.  These six (6)  children - all related to one another,  drowned together while trying to save each other.  In our eyes, they are "all" heroes.   May  the souls of these precious children all Rest in Peace. 

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Recent research shows that nearly 9 out of 10 children between ages 1 and 14 who drowned were under supervision when they died. The study defined supervision as being in someone's care, not necessarily directly in line of sight.

As children take summer breaks and families go on vacations near water, caregivers should be mindful of what constitutes adequate supervision because more than 900 children between 1 and 14 die each year in drowning accidents. Adequate supervision means "not" sitting poolside reading, socializing with guests, chatting on the phone, operating the grill or listening to music with a headset, or leaving the pool area to attend something else, thinking that your child is being watched by someone else.

Drowning is a "silent" killer.

It is not at all like the Hollywood dramatizations depicting floundering swimmers bobbing to the surface yelping for help for several minutes. Children in the water like a rock going under. As they try to get themselves out of the water, they streamline their bodies making a linear form, and it takes them straight to the bottom. They only have a minute or two before they loose consciousness. It is a silent thing because they are under the water trying to get themselves to the point where they can breathe - and as they breathe, they just suck in more water.

We are remembering our young Kings and Queens who lives were taken from them in a Swimming Pool, or in other bodies of water. We must remember to keep our eyes on our little and older loved ones, especially if they have not received swimming lessons or training on how to handle themselves in bodies of water.  It only takes two feet of water or less, for them to drown due to a loss of footing and more.  Below are a few of their faces, and just some of their devastating stories.  May their souls rest in peace.

 

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Kansas City, Missouri - A five-year-old girl dragged a toddler to a bathtub and drowned him because he made too much noise and cried too much.  It was at first thought that the death of 18-month-old Jermane Johnson, Jr. was an accidental drowning at a relative's home in Kansas,  But after social workers questioned the girl who was in the house with him, she told them that she didn’t like the toddler because he 'made too much noise', and 'cried too much'.   She then indicated that she drowned him on purpose.

Kansas City police and local juvenile court officials said they could not remember ever investigating such a serious case involving such a young suspect.   The children had been left in the house in the care of a 16-year-old girl, who reportedly has mental disabilities, on Friday when the adult in the house went to pick up a relative from the bus stop.   It was then the five-year-old is said to have dragged him to the bath tub, which had not been drained.  Jermane lived in the St. Louis area but was being cared for by relatives in the 2600 block of Elmwood Avenue in Kansas City.   He had been staying at the house for several weeks.

  Brockton, MA - Officials are investigating allegations of abuse and neglect in the drowning deaths of twin girls Saturday afternoon. The girls, 4, drowned in the family’s in-ground swimming pool when their 9-year-old sister (who had been watching them) went into the house and left them alone. Their mother, who worked the midnight shift, was sleeping when the tragedy occurred.

Authorities are investigating whether or not the twins crawled through a hole in the fence to get to a pool that “appeared to be unused and in disrepair.”  When the ambulance arrived, one of the parents had already pulled the twins - Lindsey and Leslie Bonsu, out of the pool but they were not breathing. They were resuscitated, but Lindsey died a few hours later and Leslie died the next day, Sunday.

Bakersfield, California - Candiace Tucker is a mother in pain.  Candiace's sons, 4-year-old Marcus Nevaeh Tucker and 1-year-old Micah Emmanuel, drowned in the pool of a home on the 5500 block of Dustin Street.  The loss has been hard on the entire family. 

Shreveport, La.  (August 3, 1020) – Six teenagers who could not swim drowned in a northwest Louisiana river during a family outing, after falling into deep water from the shallows where they were wading in the Red River, which is  a popular recreational area where sand bars gave way to 20-foot depths.  The teens had started playing in a familiar area,  but ended up at a spot in the river where the bottom fell suddenly and that's where divers found their bodies. 

A friend of the families watched helplessly as the victims went under.   She said a large group of family and friends, including roughly 20 children, were out at the sandbar to barbecue and have a good time.  They frequent the area and were familiar with the water.  They did not know whether one teen fell and pulled down others, or if they were trying to rescue each other.   It took more than three hours to find all the bodies.

Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2010) - A Washington D.C.  drowning accident claimed the life of a young girl.   The six-year-old girl who was pulled from a Turkey Thicket Recreation Center pool in Washington, D.C., and was later pronounced dead at Children's National Medical Center.   Bystanders performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the victim while waiting for fire and rescue officials to arrive.  A lifeguard was on duty when the girl drowned.  Witnesses say the girl jumped into the deep end from the diving board and that at the time the pool was very crowded.  According to reports, it was the next person to get on the diving board who notified the lifeguard that the young girl was at the pool bottom. The pool is about 12-feet deep.

Muskegon Heights, Michigan (Mother's Day)  - Two 6-year-old children died Sunday at a vacant Muskegon Heights home when they were picking flowers for Mother's Day and drowned in a backyard pool.  Torrey Day was with his friend Ya'mesha Mitchell, when he slipped in the pool.  They were two playmates.   Torrey got in trouble,  and  Ya'mesha lost her life little  trying to help her friend."

Kansas City, KansasA 9-year-old boy - Chris'Shaun Franklin, drowned in a Kansas City, Kansas pond while playing with a friend on Wednesday. Recent rain created a pond near 55th and State Avenue.  Several detectives spoke to possible witnesses at the scene and the incident was being ruled an accidental drowning.   Neighbors said the area fills up quickly when it rains and children often play in the water.  The area is heavily wooded and the water is inviting, especially on warm, muggy days like Wednesday.  About 5 p.m., police and fire department were called. When they arrived, the 9-year-old was under water.  Two officers and two firefighters jumped in and found him. They started CPR and the boy was taken to a hospital.  He died an hour later.

Miramar, Florida - Tragedy struck a Miramar family after the father of an 18 month-old baby boy found the lifeless body of the toddler in a pool.  The father, Donald Shank, who is also a Broward Sheriff's Office Detention Deputy acted immediately, pulling son Dainian from the pool and administering CPR.  He then ran to his neighbor's house for help.  The boy was pronounced dead at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.  Little Dainian was home with his father, grandfather and 4-year-old brother at the time of the incident. Police say a sliding glass door was left open and the pool had no safety fence.

Hallandale, Florida - The family of a 5-year-old boy who drowned was recently awarded a hefty $17.5 million judgment in a wrongful death suit against the city. It was one of the largest verdicts ever awarded.  Yvonica Johnson, mother of James Johnson, filed a $17.5 million suit against the city of Hallandale for negligence the death of her son.  The youngster was registered in the Hallandale City Day Camp.  Ms. Johnson maintains she was never advised that the day camp activities included swimming.  James could not swim, and his mother contended that she never gave permission for day camp counselors to take him to the pool.  Pool supervisors admitted that they did not know whether the day-campers could swim, and they did not administer a swimming test.

Jacksonville, Florida - Department of Children and Families investigators wanted to know if two young children were home alone before they slipped into a neighbor's pool and drowned.   The kids are identified as Gerard Chinonso Ibeagwa, 6, and his little sister Blessing Chinonyesen Ibeagwa, 3.   A family friend who answered the door at the children's home told Action News the parents weren't home that night but she wasn't sure if somebody else was.  Investigators also want to know how six year-old Gerard and 3 year old blessing got into their neighbors pool.  The backyard pool is surrounded by a fence and gate.

Newburgh, New York  - A woman upset with the father of her children,  packed her four youngsters into her minivan and drove into the frigid Hudson River, killing everyone except her 10-year-old son, who managed to roll down a window of the sinking vehicle and swim to shore.  The dead youngsters ranged in age from 11 months to 5 years.    A relative had called police Tuesday night to report a dispute at the home of Lashanda Armstrong, 25.  Shortly afterward, she drove off a boat ramp several blocks away from her apartment in this struggling city 60 miles north of New York City.  Officials believe Lashaun Armstrong, 10, hit the button on a power window to escape from the driver's side as the minivan began to sink in the 45-degree water.   The vehicle went under within two minutes.

Phoenix, Arizona - An infant died last month after drowning in a bathtub at his grandmother’s house. Apparently there was a party going on and the 8-month-olds mother laid him in the empty tub for a nap.   After about 20 to 30 minutes the baby was found submersed in water.   Family members began CPR and fire officials took over when they arrived. The baby was not breathing and had no pulse when he arrived at the hospital.   He was later pronounced dead.