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Fresno County Swimming Pool Fatality


An 18-month-old toddler, Bentley Colwell, drowned in a tragic Fresno swimming pool accident at his grandfather’s house in a Fig Garden neighborhood on the 600 block of East Saginaw Way, recently, according to an article in The Fresno Bee.

Bentley is believed to have fallen or jumped unnoticed, into the backyard swimming pool of the house in central Fresno near Wishon and Saginaw, said Cynthia Valdez, a police spokeswoman. The boy’s grandfather found him and pulled him out of the water. Bentley was pronounced dead at the Community Regional Medical Center. Valdez also reported there was no fence around the swimming pool or any evidence of safety measures.

This is truly a heartbreaking story and I offer my sincere condolences to the family.

California is second only to Florida in home swimming pool ownership. Sadly the state also has a high number of pool related accidents and fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that nationally more than one in four fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger and for every child who dies from drowning, another four were treated for submersion injuries. The CDC also found 30% of the children 1 to 4 years old who died in 2005, died by drowning.

This is an alarming trend and the problem will probably continue until all swimming pool owners are required to install measures that prevent access to the pool and monitor its use. Currently, California’s Swimming Pool Safety Act requires all pools and spas built after January 1, 1998 and any pools being remodeled to have at least one approved safety barrier. There is a lot of useful and readily available swimming pool safety information for owners. Ultimately it is up to them to exercise basic good sense of securing the area and prevent it from turning into a deadly hazard.

Please give me a call if you’re interested in discussing your swimming pool related accident case.

The California Department of Health Services has an excellent safety guide posted on their Web site.

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2 responses to “Fresno County Swimming Pool Fatality”

  1. Sandra Colwell says:

    I am the grandmother of our Beloved Bentley Colwell who drowned in our back yard pool. This was also Bentley’s home from birth. We took all safety measures to insure that he was never around water alone. His Granfather and Mother were both home with him, his mother thought he was with his Grandfather and his Grandfather thought he was with his mother. My point to stating all this is that always always know where your toddler is at all times. You can NEVER be too careful. We were and this HORRIBLE TRAJEDY still occurred. WE MISS HIM SOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!

  2. Sandra Colwell says:

    I am grandmother of Bentley Eugene Colwell whom drowned in our pool. He was only 18 mints old and all we can say is that he must have wandered outside to our pool we locked all doors so he could not not get out we have no idea how he got out o our pool

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