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Posted at 6:08 PM ET, 07/22/2010

Boy, his uncle drown in neighbor's pool

By Washington Post editors

UPDATE:
A 12-year-old boy and his uncle died Thursday of drowning in the Marlton area of Prince George's County, authorities said.

Najee Clark and his uncle, David Massey, 59, were taken to the hospital in "extremely critical condition" Thursday after. They later died at the hospital.

Authorities said Najee apparently made his way past a seven-foot-tall fence and into a neighbor’s pool and was unable to get out, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. Alerted that the boy was there, his uncle, who was visiting, attempted to rescue him.

Neither knew how to swim, police said.

The incident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. in the back yard of a house in the 9300 block of Midland Turn, Brady said. Najee and Massey came from a house directly behind it, in the 9200 block of Fairhaven Avenue, Brady said.

Firefighters arrived to find a gruesome scene: Both lifeless bodies were underwater in the end of the pool that is about eight feet deep, Brady said. He said they quickly pulled the pair from the water and began administering CPR, but both the boy and the man were not breathing and were without a pulse.

Brady said Prince George’s County homicide detectives would investigate the case, but at least initially, it appeared to be a “tragic story” of a boy wandering into a neighbor’s pool and a man trying to rescue him, and both being overcome by water.

The in-ground pool ranges in depth from three feet to eight feet, he said. He said friends of the boy alerted a woman who lived in his house that he had wandered into a neighbor’s pool, and the man went over to try to rescue him while she called 911.

The resident of the house with the pool was in the front yard doing maintenance work when the incident occurred, Brady said. He said that man was only alerted that something was amiss when the 911 caller came around to the front of his house and told him.

A woman who answered the phone at the boy's house declined to comment.

-- Matt Zapotosky


Two nearly drown in neighbor's pool
4:30 p.m.

A 12-year-old boy and 59-year-old man were critically injured Thursday afternoon in an apparent near-drowning in the Marlton area of Prince George’s County, authorities said.

The boy apparently made his way past a seven-foot-tall fence and into a neighbor’s pool and was unable to get out, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. Alerted that the boy was there, a 59-year-old man who was at the boy’s house attempted to rescue him, and he, too, nearly drowned, Brady said. The incident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. in the back yard of a house in the 9300 block of Midland Turn, Brady said. The boy and the man came from a house directly behind it, in the 9200 block of Fairhaven Avenue, Brady said.

Firefighters arrived to find a gruesome scene: Both lifeless bodies were underwater in the end of the pool that is about eight feet deep, Brady said. He said they quickly pulled the pair from the water and began administering CPR, but both the boy and the man were not breathing and were without a pulse.

The two were transported to a hospital in “extremely critical” condition, Brady said. He said Prince George’s County homicide detectives would investigate the case, but at least initially, it appeared to be a “tragic story” of a boy wandering into a neighbor’s pool and a man trying to rescue him, and both being overcome by water.

It is not clear why the boy and the man could not swim to safety, Brady said. The in-ground pool ranges in depth from three feet to eight feet, he said. He said friends of the boy alerted a woman who lived in his house that he had wandered into a neighbor’s pool, and the man went over to try to rescue him while she called 911.

The resident of the house with the pool was in the front yard doing maintenance work when the incident occurred, Brady said. He said that man was only alerted that something was amiss when the 911 caller came around to the front of his house and told him. The boy and man appear to have jumped his fence to enter his yard, Brady said.

A woman who answered the phone at the boy's house declined to comment.

-- Matt Zapotosky

By Washington Post editors  | July 22, 2010; 6:08 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland  
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Comments

How does a 12-year old boy, who knows he can't swim, wander into the deep end of a pool? What 59-year-old doesn't know how to swim? Something isn't adding up.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | July 22, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Many people don't know how to swim. Why go in deep if you can't is the question. Stay in 3ft.

Better yet, don't jump in anyone's pool without their permission and without a lifeguard if you can't swim.

Posted by: kahlua87 | July 22, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

People who have pools on their property are required by law to fence them in, precisely to make it difficult for trespassers to enter the area and put themselves at risk. These homeowners did that. This pre-teen - who must have known that he couldn't swim - made a deliberate effort to override the protective fence and to enter (or at least get right next to) the pool. If nothing else, this incident should underscore the need for basic swim training for everyone - in a backyard pool, the ability to swim only a few yards would have brought both the boy and his uncle to safety - and education about the danger, as well as the illegality, of trespassing into the fenced property of another.

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 22, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

This is very sad.
This family must be devastated.


Other should families take note:

This neighborhood has a swim club only 1.5 miles away from these homes and for only $415 a season the entire family could have been learning to swim on at least a basic level. Malton Swim Club also has a swim team too. The boy could have been swimming with friends in a monitored pool, if only the family had joined the local pool.

Its really important for every child to learn to swim even if it isn't something a parent is familiar with. Most suburban neighborhoods have community pools. Even joining for a few years while the kids are young would give a child the opportunity to learn basic swimming.

Posted by: qaz2qaz | July 22, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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