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January 31, 2013

Lawsuit filed in reservoir drowning death

GREENVILLE — The parents of a boy who drowned at a City of Greenville municipal reservoir last year have sued the city and the Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS).

A current under the waters of Municipal Reservoir No. 4 posed “an unreasonable risk of harm” according to the litigation filed Monday with the 354th District Court. Tireiger Micky and Echensia Hassan are suing for damages in the June 11, 2012, death of 3-year-old Ledaro Micky.

Greenville City Attorney Daniel Ray said he had not been served as of Wednesday and declined comment until after he has had a chance to read the suit.

Micky was on a fishing trip with his family when he fell into the water in a pond near a culvert next to the GEUS power plant at the reservoir. The plant was operating at the time and drawing water into the facility.

An official statement released by the City of Greenville indicated Micky fell into the south side of the small pond adjacent to the reservoir. The child’s father attempted to grab Micky from the water but was unable to pull him to safety due to the swift current.

Once the power plant pumps were shut off, divers entered the water, while boats with sonar and drag equipment began searching the area.

The search was halted shortly before midnight on June 11, 2012, after severe weather moved into the region. Crews with the Public Works Department moved in overnight with heavy equipment to create a steel barrier at the outlet, so that water could be pumped from the area where Micky had entered the water.

The search resumed at approximately 7 a.m. the next day and Micky’s body was recovered about 90 minutes later from the north side of the small pond adjacent to the reservoir.  It was believed that the swift water carried the child through the inlet under the roadway and into other side of the pond.

The lawsuit filed by attorney David R. Ragsdale of Carrollton placed blame for the incident on the city and the utility.

“Defendant’s electric generating plant intentionally created a hidden strong under-current in the reservoir, that was a dangerous condition and posted an unreasonable risk of harm to Ledaro Micky and others similarly situated,” Ragsdale said.

No hearing dates have been scheduled in the suit.

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