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Toddler drowns in Hazelwood Ave. yard pond

Published: Sat, March 3, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.




A nurse working at a house on South Hazelwood Avenue on the West Side noticed something floating in the water of a side-yard pond Friday afternoon, discovered that it was a girl about 18 months old and tried to resuscitate her, but the child died.

Youngstown police were not releasing the child’s name in the hours after it happened but said the girl had been in the care of a baby-sitter at the house next door. The pond is about 6 feet in diameter with stones around the edge and about 21⁄2 to 3 feet deep.

Police say they don’t know how the girl got into the water. There were no other children playing near the pond.

Neither of the parents of the girl, who lived at 305 S. Hazelwood Ave., were home at the time of the accident, police said. The baby-sitter was watching the girl and an 8-year-old boy.

The pond appeared to be on the property at the house where the nurse was working, 237 S. Hazelwood. She was caring for a child at that address, police said.

A wooden fence is in place between the house at 237 and the house at 305 South Hazelwood. The fence blocks the view of the pond from 305 S. Hazelwood, where the girl lived.

A neighbor living across the street from the pond said the family living at 237 S. Hazelwood has a large number of children, some of them young, who frequently play around the pond. Playground equipment for small children is located close to the pond.

The neighbor said she never really thought about the pond being dangerous.

A man police said was the girl’s father arrived at 305 S. Hazelwood around 5 p.m. and cried uncontrollably as he got to the front yard and front porch of the home.

A half-dozen Youngstown police officers stood by in the area of the porch while others comforted the man.

Dr. Joseph Ohr, deputy Mahoning County coroner, and a coroner’s investigator took photos of the scene, including the pond, which some described as a fish pond.

“It’s an absolute tragedy,” said Chris Yambar, Youngstown police chaplain, who had come to the scene to comfort family members. “This was a beautiful child. She’s absolutely with Jesus.”

Police said the girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident happened around 3 p.m.


1sobeit(98 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This is absolutely awful! First of all, how does an 18 month old child open a door and walk out of the house on her own? The doors weren't locked, obviously? I have an 18 month old and I know she cannot get up unlock a door and turn the handle on her own. She can't open the door even if it unlocked. The door had to be opened for whatever reason!

My heart breaks for this family. You put your trust in someone to take care of your child who you feel is responsible enough to PAY ATTENTION AND STAY AWAKE while you go out and make a living only to get the dreaded call that something awful has happened to your child. A parents worst nightmare! Shame on the babysitter. She will have to live with this for the rest of her life and these poor parents will never be the same!

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2unknown54(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

The age is wrong she would have been 21 months old today. She will be forever missed and loved by all those who had the chance to meet this amazing little girl.

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3ohio11pm(23 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

@sobeit-I have several children and I can tell you that an 18 month old can unlock a door as well as remove safety covers from outlets. Not all toddlers can do that, but some can. In addition, sometimes an older child opens a door but forgets to lock it.

My heart goes out to the family

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4sobeit(98 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

@ohio11: As do I have several children, all girls, and not one of them has ever attempted or been able to open up a door with child proof handles on them! Maybe some children can, but never in my experience with my children have they been able.
In any event, the child's sitter should have been watching her and not sleeping! As this proves, things can happen in an instant and if you are not watching your child or in this case, someone else's child, something terrible can/will happen! Such a senseless tragedy.

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5jwhitehawke(91 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This article was one of the most haphazard, apathetic and badly written I've read.......... another 'Runyon Onion'.

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6Dannik(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This is why I hate the news. If you didn't know the family and all involved like a few of us did you shouldn't write a story or comment on it. It is a tragic loss. Everyone involved is in horrible pain. The parents and babysitter loved that child more than anything. And can't no mother or father say that at one point while raising ur child you didn't turn your head, fall asleep with your child in your arms. Etc come on. The fact is a child is gone and people are hurting it was a tragic accident . And if u have anything bad to say everyone should look in the mirror. It could happen to anyone :(

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