Teddy bears, ribbons and lit candles are piling up outside a home south of Boston. Inside the house, parents are grieving the loss of their little boy, just five years old, and little girl, seven years old.
The two were found in the black, cold water of a neighbor’s uncovered backyard swimming pool. Investigators believe the Long Island, New York, tragedy might well be due to the neighbor failing to erect a secure fence around the pool that would have kept the youngsters safe.
Police were called around 3:30 Sunday afternoon by the children’s mother, who said her kids had disappeared from their Central Islip home.
Officers arrived soon afterwards and began a search of the area. In the course of the search, “a police officer saw what he believed to be a shoe floating in a backyard pool of a neighbor’s house,” a police spokesperson said.
Officers jumped into the four-foot-deep pool and found the bodies of the unconscious children. A short while later, the kids were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The pool is directly behind the property of the kids’ home. Officials said that though the pool is enclosed, the fence is not properly installed, allowing easy access for small children.
In fact, the owner of the pool had already been ticketed “by the town for improper fencing,” according to a news report.
One neighbor said she saw the two kids go through the fence as recently as last Friday. She said it was “pretty easy” for the kids to get it.
“I saw the girl and the little boy,” she recalled. “The girl opened the fence and she went to the pool and started throwing rocks at the pool.”
Anyone who suffers harm because of inadequate security on another person’s property should contact an attorney experienced in holding negligent property owners accountable in premises liability litigation.
Source: NBC, “Brother, sister drown in neighbor’s uncovered pool,” April 15, 2013
- Please see our Massachusetts premises liability page for more information on our Boston personal injury firm.