Days after toddler drowns, another North Texas child dies in swimming pool accident

·3 min read

A 3-year-old girl died Saturday in a swimming pool accident in Johnson County, the second child to drown in a water accident in North Texas within a week.

The 2-year-old great grand-son of televangelist Kenneth Copeland died on May 4 in a Tarrant County swimming pool accident.

As of Friday, 14 children had drowned in Texas in 2021, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Harris County had the most deaths with four, followed by Dallas County with two. Tarrant County had one.

State officials noted that while playing in the water is one of the best ways to beat the summer heat, it’s also a time when children are most likely to drown. In Texas, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for kids under the age of 5, and toddlers are especially at risk.

In the Johnson County case, Jocelynn Richardson of Rio Vista died at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth at 8:35 p.m. Saturday, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office website on Monday.

She died from drowning and her death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Deputies with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene, but authorities have not provided any details on the drowning.

Joceylnn’s family said in a GoFundMe account that she died in a tragic accident at her home in Rio Vista.

“Jocelynn was a little ray of sunshine that had a smile that would light up an entire city,” according to the GoFundMe account created by the family as a memorial fund to pay for funeral expenses.

Jocelynn loved animals, especially chickens, and spent most of her days helping her grandmother Cynthia Andrews feed the horses, pigs, goats and chickens on the family’s Rio Vista farm, the GoFundMe page says.

“She even would tell her Grandma she was going to run the farm when she grew up!” according to the account.

The great-grandson of televangelist Kenneth Copeland died on May 4 at Cook Children’s hospital after being pulled out of a swimming pool at a Tarrant County home, according to officials and his father.

The death of Clark David Mayer, 2, was also ruled an accident, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office website. He drowned in a backyard pool at a home in northwest Tarrant County, authorities said.

Authorities say many drownings can be prevented if a child is never left unsupervised around water.

Drowning can happen in almost any amount of water, indoors or outdoors, state officials said. In the past five years in Texas, several young children have died in a bucket, a bathtub, a fountain and a fish tank.

Last year, a 1-year-old boy drowned in a fish tank in Tarrant County, according to state statistics.

The death count reached 80 children who drowned in Texas in 2020. It was 87 in 2019, 91 in 2018, 77 in 2017 and 107 in 2016, according to officials with the TDFPS. The state agency considers children 17 years old and younger.

Here are some pool safety tips from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services:

Hot tubs, spas, and pools should always be behind a fence that is at least 4 feet high.

The fence should have a self-closing, self-latching gate that opens outward. The latches should be out of reach of children.

Keep back doors and pet doors locked to prevent children from accessing the pool or hot tub.

If possible, install doorknob safety covers and/or locks or bolt latches higher up on exterior doors where children cannot unlock them.

A pool alarm can detect waves on the pool surface to let you know if a child or pet has fallen in.

Add a lock to a gate leading to your back yard for extra precaution.

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