Local News

Boy drowns at Seaboard water treatment facility

Posted March 17, 2012 1:42 p.m. EDT
Updated March 17, 2012 11:01 p.m. EDT

— A 12-year-old Garyburg boy drowned Friday after falling into a holding pond for treated waste water at a water treatment facility on Williams Street in Seabord, authorities said.

According to the Seaboard Police Department, about 14 kids were playing near the facility Friday afternoon after entering through an open gate. When Labrone Wade slipped on the black lining surrounding the pond and fell into the water, which is 8 to 10 feet deep, three other children jumped in to try and save him.

When that didn't work, they held out a stick for him to grab, said Wade's stepfather, Donald Phillips, but a water pump in the pond created a strong current that tugged Wade away from his friends.

"As the kids were trying to pull him another way, the pump was pulling him another way," Phillips said Saturday. "He just got to the point where he got tired and ended up letting go. He fought as long as he could."

The three children who jumped into the holding pond were all taken to the hospital by their parents as a precaution.

Seaboard police, Northhampton County EMS and other search and rescue squads looked for the Wade’s body from about 6 to 11 p.m. Friday night and began looking again at 8 a.m. Saturday. They found it around 11:30 a.m.

Wade was a sixth grader at Gaston Middle School. His mother, Stephanie Wade, said her son fell in while trying to save a girl from slipping into the water.

"She (almost) fell in, but he caught her," Stephanie Wade said. "When he caught her, that's when he slipped and fell in." 

Her son didn't know how to swim, she said.

"He just tried to save somebody else's life and ended up losing his," Phillips said. "I just hope everybody that knew him remembers the same smile and remembers the loving way he was."