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Boy, 11, dies after jumping into water to save sister

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

The 11-year-old boy who tried to save his sister when she fell into deep water in a culvert Thursday night has died, hospital officials say.

The incident happened near the pipe close to the football field at Marie G. Davis Military and Leadership Academy, near Remount Road and South Tryon Street. According to reports, the children were playing in the area when a 7-year-old girl went under the water.

The girl remained in intensive care Friday morning at Carolinas Medical Center, authorities said.

Authorities had not released the names of the children as of daybreak Friday.

Breanna Caldwell, who knows the victims, said the watery area has been a popular but dangerous draw for decades for children who live in nearby Southside homes. Several children were at the culvert hopping from rock to slippery rock when the boy and girl went under, she said.

“I’ve been down there,” Caldwell said. “The water is sometimes rushing really fast out of the pipe. It’s muddy and easy to get stuck, especially if you go too far.”

The muddy area varies from ankle deep to more than 6 feet deep, said Charlotte fire Chief Jon Hannan, who said the area often floods after heavy rain.

Caldwell said the children were siblings. The girl went under the water and her brother tried to save her, she said.

One child was recovered by the first team of firefighters to arrive at the scene, the fire chief said. The other child was recovered by the Fire Department’s dive team.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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