The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 3, 2008

Lawsuit reveals brother witnessed his sister, 7, drown

A lawsuit filed in Garfield County District Court alleges there was a second victim in an Enid water park accident that resulted in the death of a 7-year-old girl: her 8-year-old brother.

The suit, filed Wed-nesday, says Tanyjah Ker-rion Hall’s brother, Braylen Franklin, suffered “profound mental anguish and damage from actually viewing the injury to his little sister.”

The negligence lawsuit seeks in excess of $10,000 from Splash Zone in the death of Hall and the emotional distress caused to Franklin. The suit was filed by the girl’s mother, Carmalita Franklin, and grandmother, Eva Frank-lin.

Hall had been pulled from less than 4 feet of water in a pool at Splash Zone, 1122 Trails Loop West, May 29 by a patron who was at the park with his children and saw the girl under water. Hall was taken to an area hospital before being transported to a hospital in Tulsa. She was pronounced dead early the next morning. The park reopened the following day.

According to a petition filed in the suit, the water park assumed the duty to care for the girl’s safety when she paid admission to the park. The petition claims the park was negligent in Hall’s drowning because it failed to “... properly supervise the swimming” of Hall and “to rescue her from drowning.”

The petition claims the water park failed to inquire if Hall was a swimmer or non-swimmer at the time of her admission, failed to use identifiers, such as bright colored bracelets to differentiate non-swimming patrons from swimming patrons and failed to separate swimmer from non-swimmers.

The petition also claims the park did not protect Hall from her own swimming deficiencies, forced her out of a children’s wading pool and into a general swimming area even though she protested to the lifeguard and said she could not swim.

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