No Governmental Oversight at Abandoned Pool Where Toddler Drowned
Published April 23rd, 2013
ALACHUA COUNTY - No governmental agency is responsible for overseeing the abandoned pool where a little boy lost his life last week.
Demetrius Powers, 3, apparently drowned in what had been a community pool that has been closed for many years in the Cedar Ridge subdivision of Alachua County. Since the pool was closed and property managers had not filed for a permit in over a decade, representatives of the Alachua County Health Department say they have no oversight over this pool.
Nevertheless, it appears the little boy wandered through a hole in the fence and drowned in about four feet of water that was left standing in the pool. Members of Demetrius' family say they strongly believe his death was preventable.
"I noticed that the fencing is all fixed, and all secured in and everything," said Yvonne Herring, Demetrius' aunt. She was visiting a makeshift memorial set up for Demetrius just a few feet away from that pool. "If this was done on Friday, this little boy would've been alive today. He would not be dead today."
One of the property managers of the pool, Catherine Banta of Banta Properties, released a statement late Monday that reads, "Cedar Ridge Recreation expresses its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Demetrius Powers. We, together with the rest of the community, mourn the tragic loss of this young child. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities in any ongoing investigation."
On Friday, Banta told TV20 that she had not received any complaints about those holes in the fence, but did say that she had been working for a number of years to redevelop that pool area with several outside agencies, but had no luck.
No word yet on what will become of the pool in the wake of this tragedy.
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