Girl, 3, drowns in community pool

July 14, 2009 4:33:27 PM PDT
A toddler drowned Tuesday at a busy community pool in northeast Harris County. The three-year-old girl was missing for only minutes and was later found at the bottom of the pool. The accident happened at the Fall Creek Community Center off of Mesa and the North Beltway around 12:15pm. Investigators say that's when a mother began to frantically search for her little girl. By the time she was found, efforts to save her life were unsuccessful, much to the shock of pool patrons.

"It's horrible," said pool patron Darla Bunck. "I can't imagine."

"I'm sure they have lifeguards on duty, right?" asked pool patron Dirk Bunck.

Dirk and Darla Bunck brought their son and friend to the pool. They say what attracted them in the first place is the abundance of lifeguards and children's activities.

"It looked safe. There were several life guards out there," said Darla. "I felt safe enough to bring mine."

Harris County Sheriff's Department investigators says there were lifeguards at the pool, but because an 'adult only' swimming session had just started, the lifeguards weren't on the stands, something that surprised guard Addy Garcia when she showed for her afternoon shift.

"We're always on the stand," she said. "Always."

The management for the Fall Creek community pool were on site to work with investigators. The pool was shut down after the drowning. For now, detectives say this looks like nothing more than a tragic accident.

"I think it's tragic. It's horrible," said Tammy McMillian with Fall Creek. "Again, our condolences go out to the family. We're very sorry for the family."

Thirty children, most of them toddlers, drowned just last month in Texas. That includes five cases in our area. June was the worst month for child drownings since the state began counting in 2005. Most of the drownings occurred in swimming pools and private residences.

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