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7-year-old dies after pool accident in Durham

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DURHAM, N.C. — A North Carolina family is grieving the loss of their 7-year-old son after a terrible pool accident Saturday, according to WTVD-TV.

Jamarcus Graham, of Goldsboro, was discovered floating face down in the Brightleaf Community Center pool. He was in critical condition Saturday night at Duke Medical Center Hospital and passed away Sunday morning.

Police say Graham was at the pool with a guardian and was attending a pool party when the accident happened. Investigators believe he knew how to swim.

“This is just terrible,” said Derek Tolbert, a Brightleaf resident. “It’s heartbreaking and I can imagine how those parents feel.”

Police say the pool was packed with parents and children, and there were a couple of parties for children underway.

“It’s an awful, awful thing that you don’t think could ever happen to your child,” said Lauren Higdon, who lives in the area. “And it’s just awful that they were here having fun and celebrating.”

Medical professionals just happened to be at the pool at the time and started CPR on the little boy. The near-drowning hits home for Higdon, since her son is around the same age.

“They can be independent and parents think they can be independent and it’s just sad,” Higdon said. “It’s very unfortunate. I’m praying he pulls through.”

At the pool, there are no lifeguards on duty and signs are posted warning people to “swim at your own risk.”

People who live here want to see a change.

“Especially after this incident,” said Derek Tolbert, who also lives in the area. “You gotta look at the safety of everyone, especially young ones. Sometimes you don’t even realize how quickly something like that can happen.”

In light of the accident, the pool was shut down Saturday afternoon and it will remain closed until further notice.


  • sinner 3

    All those people talking about all the people there and the lifeguards !! Guess what you all FAILED this CHILD !

    • FaithC

      The article said – “At the pool, there are no lifeguards on duty and signs are posted warning people to “swim at your own risk.” So what lifeguards are you talking about?
      I was hoping the child would pull through. I am very sorry he died, thoughts out to the family.

  • Joy Mickelsen Oliver

    I can see the pool from my house. Was shocked to see the pool open the very next day after the drowning. There should be a maximum amount of people allowed in the pool area to avoid a situation like this.

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