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Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 6/8/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

SYLVANIA

Boy pulled from Sylvania lake dies

Apparent drowning Olander Park’s 4th since 1981

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Rescue vehicles at the scene Saturday at Olander Park in Sylvania. Rescue vehicles at the scene Saturday at Olander Park in Sylvania.
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An 8-year-old boy who was pulled from the lake at Sylvania’s Olander Park on Saturday evening was declared dead later that night.

The boy was brought to shore by divers from multiple agencies about 8:25 p.m., then rushed by Life Squad to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, a news release from Sylvania police said.

The apparent drowning death is the fourth since 1981 for the park district, which is reminding visitors to stay focused on safety.

“TOPS is saddened by this terrible tragedy, and our hearts are with the boy’s family,” said Erika Buri, director of the Olander Park System, or TOPS, which includes four other parks.

Sylvania police on Sunday continued to withhold the child’s identity, even though the boy was reported missing by his family about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police said they would provide no information beyond their initial news release, which acknowledged that the incident had occurred.

The release said the matter “is pending review and the coroner’s autopsy at this time.”

Sylvania police Chief William Rhodus said Saturday night that nobody saw the boy go into the lake.

“They just lost sight of him,” Chief Rhodus said.

The child was swimming outside the park’s designated swim area, according to Ms. Buri, who said park officials try their best to discourage that.

“We try really hard to be diligent,” she said. “This kind of an incident will make us more hyper-aware.”

Three other drownings have occurred in Olander Park since 1981.

In March, 2012, the body of Tijuana Linzy, 37, of Sylvania was found by a citizen and park employee. Dr. James Patrick, Lucas County coroner, said at the time that an autopsy showed the woman’‍s death was consistent with drowning.

In July, 1981, a 5-year-old, Sean Johnson, fell off a 12-foot aluminum rowboat. His stepfather, James H. Johnson, and another man in the boat, Calvin Adams, jumped into the water in an attempt to save him. Mr. Adams died with the boy.

“I think everyone has been given pause, for sure,” Ms. Buri said.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com or 419-724-6079.



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