No charges expected in drowning of 4-year-old

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

No charges are expected to be filed in the case of a four-year-old girl who drowned in a swimming pool in Flat Rock over the weekend, police said Tuesday.

Flat Rock Police Chief John Leacher said police are conducting an investigation of the incident, but doubts there is a case for negligence in this case in which the child was found at the bottom of a swimming pool in the 29000 block of Van Riper during a graduation party on Saturday.

“Our entire community is saddened,” Leacher said. “It was just a horrible, horrible accident.”

About 30 people attended the party, including the mother of the 4-year-old, Flat Rock Fire Chief William Vack said.

Several other children ages 9-12 were also swimming in the four-foot deep pool, Leacher said.

Police and paramedics were dispatched to the home after a 911 call about a possible drowning victim, Leacher said.

Meanwhile, a Flat Rock firefighter who lives at the home jumped into the water and pulled the girl from the pool, Vack said. He immediately began CPR.

Once paramedics arrived within two minutes, they continued performing CPR and the child was taken to Beaumont Hospital-Southshore in Trenton, Vack said.

Leacher said child protective services is conducting an investigation and he said police will share on Wednesday a summary of the investigation with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, who will decide whether or not to file charges.

“I would be extremely surprised if there were any charges that were filed in this case,” Leacher said.

Following the incident, responders underwent a stress debriefing, Vack said.

“It’s always the most difficult to deal with, when it’s a small child,” Vack said. “It’s a sentiment that will haunt them for some time.”

Leacher, a father of two adult daughters, said he knows from experience that young children can easily get away. He encouraged parents to be attentive to their children, especially around the water.

“We’ve all had those moments where a child moves further than you might expect a 3 or 4-year-old to move,” Leacher said, “That doesn’t make you a bad parent. We are all human beings. But you’ve got to keep sight of them and your eyes locked on them.”