Local News

Police: Boy pulled from Durham pool has died

Posted June 15, 2014

— A 7-year-old boy who was found floating face down in a pool Saturday afternoon has died, Durham police said Sunday.

The boy, identified as Jamarcus Graham of Goldsboro, died Sunday morning at Duke University Hospital, a police spokeswoman said.

Police were called to the pool on Copper Leaf Parkway in the Brightleaf community just before 3 p.m. Saturday. 

Tiffany Harrell, an experienced nurse, said she witnessed the 7-year-old being pulled from the water. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

"You just don't expect to see a small child drown. Every time they pumped his chest, there was water coming out of his nose and mouth," Harrell said Saturday. 

Signs around the pool indicated there were no lifegaurds on duty at the time of the incident. Neighborhood parents said the policy needs to change. 

"I just think you've got to look at the safety, especially of the young ones. Sometimes you don't even realize how quickly something can happen," said neighbor Derek Tolbert. 





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  • carrboroyouth Jun 16, 2014

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    I didn't know this until I saw a PSA on youtube a few years ago. Everyone should search for that video.

    Drowning is usually a quiet death! Get educated!

  • iknowjack Jun 16, 2014

    Extremely sad for the child and his family. Lifeguards are no substitute for parents, especially for children this young.

  • Jason Galarneau Jun 16, 2014
    user avatar

    Life guard or no life guard. WATCH YOUR CHILDREN!!

  • Pepe Silvia Jun 16, 2014

    DROWNING DOESN'T LOOK LIKE DROWNINGEVERY SINGLE PERSON should make themselves aware of what drowning actually looks like - because it looks nothing like what most people think it does.

    There is no yelling for help or splashing.

    It's silent and it can happen a few feet away from other people without anyone noticing.

  • livinonfaith Jun 16, 2014

    So tragic! I also kept a strong eye on my son when he was in the pool, but I'm quite certain that there were at least a few times, when I was either listening or talking, that my eye was off of him for more than six minutes.
    If you've ever seen one of the videos of people who are drowning, it is usually difficult to tell that they are in trouble. They don't yell, don't thrash about, they are usually simply quietly struggling to keep their head above water. There are videos of people drowning with other people playing and laughing right next to them. So we shouldn't be too quick to judge.

  • jackaroe123 Jun 16, 2014

    My family goes to this pool. It's max depth is 5', which I've heard is why it is legally allowed to get away w/ not having lifeguards. That should change, at least on weekends when it is really crowded, and if only voluntarily.

    Most conscientious parents have had scary moments w/ their kids in pools even when we are being attentive. It helps provide compassion and humility in a situation like this. I understand the need to feel safe by listing all the mistakes someone made and thinking it therefore can't happen to you, but that's just cruel, and it's a false sense of security anyway.

  • Paul M Jun 16, 2014

    RIP Little man.

  • landonsgrampa Jun 16, 2014

    In this age of both parents working, if both parents are even around, children are more and more being raised by strangers. With the summer vacation upon us, parents will be dropping their kids off at various locations, community centers, malls, ball fields, pools and parks, just to name a few. Even if there is an adult in charge, there could be far too many kids, to make it a safe situation.

  • Anita Woody Jun 16, 2014

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    And who are you to make a judgement that this child did not have swimming lessons or was not knowledgeable about swimming? So many omnipotent people on this site you would think the world's problems could all be solved in a WRAL user Q&A session.

  • Ijaz Fahted Jun 16, 2014
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    There is really little way to say it without sounding insensitive. When there are no lifeguards it is up to us all to be watchful.