Valley’s 3rd drowning victim, others illegally entered private facility
By Danny RESTIVO
A 17-year-old’s drowning death was the third in separate incidents in the Mahoning Valley over the weekend.
Police said Bruce Banks, of Fairgreen Avenue in Youngstown, died shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday.
He and several adults illegally entered Logan Swim and Tennis Club, 3245 Logan Way, earlier in the morning, Liberty police said.
Based on the witnesses statements, all the individuals jumped in the pool before they noticed Banks motionless at the bottom.
After a 911 call, Liberty police arrived at 4:23 a.m. and observed three people trying to remove Banks from the water.
Liberty fire units tried to resuscitate Banks and transported him to ValleyCare Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.
Preliminary findings by the Mahoning County Coroner’s office show no signs of alcohol or drugs in Banks’ system, or any physical trauma to his body, said forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph Ohr, the county’s deputy coroner. He said Banks did not have any signs of medical issues.
Criminal trespassing charges will be filed for all individuals who illegally entered the pool, Liberty police Chief Richard J. Tisone said.
Tisone believes as many as seven people were at the private club at one point, while only four were there when the drowning occurred.
“Bruce was sort of a tough- love guy, but he loved everyone,” said brother Brett Banks. “He was a nice kid to be around, and he always made you laugh.”
Bruce Banks attended Youngstown East High School and was a member of the 2010 football team, before he began home-schooling last year, he said.
Kristen Rock, president of the Logan Swim and Tennis Club board, said she was contacted by police Saturday morning shortly after the incident occurred.
She was told by police the people with Banks climbed a fence surrounding the pool. She saw no signs of forced entry.
The club has been open since 1967 and has never had a drowning, Rock said.
“We feel horrible about the tragedy,” she said.
Police are still investigating.
Meanwhile, the Mahoning County coroner’s office has identified the 26-year-old Canton man drowned in Berlin Lake over the weekend as Cory Lowder.
Lowder was declared dead at 2:24 p.m. Saturday at St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Dr. Ohr said an autopsy revealed no evidence of Lowder being entangled in something or hitting his head on the bottom of the lake.
He also said there is no evidence of a medical issue, such as stroke or heart attack, that would have caused Lowder to drown.
Dr. Ohr said there was no smell of alcohol, but results of toxicology tests, and thus final cause, are several weeks away. Lowder had just eaten, but there is no evidence that had anything to do with his drowning, the deputy coroner added.
“My understanding is that Lowder had a child on his back and was swimming to a sandbar when Lowder started to struggle,” Dr. Ohr said.
Several people helped rescue Lowder’s 5-year-old nephew.
On Saturday, police used boats to recover the body of a 21-year-old Amish man in Mosquito lake, after he had jumped into the water from a boat to cool off.
Eli Miller Jr. of Middlefield did not surface after he entered the water.