Sheriff’s Department responds to two drowning

Published 11:58 am Friday, October 19, 2012

A New Orleans man drowned Saturday while helping his friend clear out a dam of debris built in a culvert by beavers on Restertown Road, while earlier in the month a child drowned at a pool by accident.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the department responded to a call in the 700 block of Restertown Road on Oct. 13, in reference to an accidental drowning.

Investigation into the incident determined the man, 52-year-old Craig Kronlage of New Orleans, was helping his friend break up a dam of debris that had been built into a culvert, possibly by beavers, Tucker said. Kronlage put on a wet suit before heading into the culvert in order to break up the clog, the chief deputy said. He said the flow of the water, once the debris became dislodged, pinned Kronlage under the water. Tucker said Kronlage was not wearing an oxygen tank at the time.

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Due to the dangerous nature of the accident scene, the Gulfport Fire Department’s Dive Team came to recover Kronlage, who drowned during the incident, Tucker said.

Tucker said the incident was ruled as accidental.

Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said Kronlage’s cause of death was officially listed as accidental drowning.

On Oct. 7, deputies responded to a call concerning another accidental drowning at a home on Rock Ranch Road, this time involving an 18-month-old child. The day was cool, so the family had the windows open, Tucker said. The child was in a room with other children when he apparently pushed on window screen and popped it out before climbing out of the window, Tucker said. The child made his way to the back yard where there is an in ground pool, the chief deputy said.

Tucker said the windows in the home were low to the ground, enabling the small child to climb out of the window.

“It was just a tragic accident,” Tucker said.

Family members noticed the screen was pushed out and looked for the child, finding him in the pool, Tucker said. Emergency personnel were called out and the child was transported to Highland Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Turnage listed the cause of death as accidental drowning.