Mother charged in drowning death of 5-year-old | News
HICKORY, NC (WBTV)- A Catawba County woman is facing charges after her 5-year-old son drown on Lake Hickory, in just a few feet of water earlier this month.
Cody Ray Johnson was at the Dixie Boat Club Saturday evening where several dozen people had gathered for a cookout.
When it came time to eat, says Sheriff Coy Reid, the boy was nowhere to be found. A search began immediately, and one man came across the boy's body in a roped off swimming area.
An ambulance was called as CPR was administered but the boy never regained consciousness.
Sheriff's deputies investigated what happened and determined it to be an accident. Cody could not swim, according to the Sheriff.
The boy's mother, 34-year-old Christie Hudgins was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her son.
Investigators said she was intoxicated and was not watching after her son who could not swim.
In Hildebran, lifeguard Ian Ruark said most people don't realize how easy it is for a young child to get lost even when there are many adults around. "It can happen quickly," said Ian. Ruark suggests that youngsters use flotation devices in lakes, even if they know how to swim.
Ruark also says it is important that someone always is watching the swimming area. "When you have a gathering you always have someone in charge of food and other things, so why not have someone in charge of watching the children?"
The other key to prevent tragedies, he says, is to make sure children learn to swim. "Contact your local pool or YMCA or any group that is open to the public for swimming lessons and sign the children up."
Authorities say while they can't change what happened to 5-year-old Cody, they do hope it will spur others to take preventative steps that will save lives.
Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.
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