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Toddler drowns in Hazelwood Ave. yard pond



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

By ED RUNYAN

runyan@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

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.


Comments

1paulydel(1362 comments)posted 3 years ago

Where is the rest of the story? How did the babysitter miss the child? Whats her story?

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2peacelover(798 comments)posted 3 years ago

paulydel, according to WKBN's web site, the baby sitter fell asleep and the girl wandered off.
What a horrible, dreadful, tragedy.

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3unknown54(1 comment)posted 3 years 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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4ohio11pm(23 comments)posted 3 years 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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5peacelover(798 comments)posted 3 years ago

ohio11pm, you are so right! When my son was 2, (he's now 24), all those cabinet and door locks you buy at Toys R Us meant nothing to him. Once I caught him using his toy golf club to push up on a hook-and-eye door latch that my husband installed on the door all the way up at the top, to keep the back door locked. (he pushed a chair over to stand on). Safety gates, toilet locks, pfft, he could get past any of them! Point is, you gotta be vigilant with kids at all times! This little child drowning was a horrible accident and my heart goes out to her mother.

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6Dannik(1 comment)posted 2 years, 12 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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