'No Swimming' Signs Placed at Balch Springs Pond After Child Drowns

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The city of Balch Springs placed new signs up at a retention pond, after 9-year-old Tamia Johnson drowned more than a week ago. (Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014)

    Concern is growing that more could have been done to prevent a child's drowning in a Balch Springs pond last week.

    Tamia Johnson, 9, drowned on May 18 while swimming in a retention pond at the new Walter E. Luedeke Park, located in the 3200 block of Hickory Creek Road.

    "I don't understand why it takes a fatality for something to be done," Weldon Colbert, a Balch Springs resident, told city council members Tuesday night.

    The retention pond, which opened in April, was designed to collect rainwater runoff on the back side of the more than 14 acre park.

    Colbert spoke publicly to city council about concerns that Johnson's father, Antoin Lockett, shared privately with NBC 5 after he walked out of Tuesday's council meeting in frustration.

    Lockett, who did not want to speak on camera, said he was concerned about why the park was still open while there were still questions about how to move forward safely.

    City council members met in executive session behind closed doors with the city attorney Tuesday night to receive advice about Johnson's drowning, but no formal action was taken.

    "Honestly, we didn't anticipate the pond being full at this time, but with the heavy rains that we've had, it's filled up quicker than we've anticipated," city spokesman David Haas told NBC 5 the day after Johnson drowned.

    The day of the drowning, the city posted "Danger: No Swimming" signs around the pond, which had been ordered before Johnson's death.