Mother of drowned teen hopes future tragedy can be avoided

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two Memphis mothers who lost their only sons Wednesday asked if their unthinkable tragedy could have been avoided.

Memphis and Shelby County Rescue crews put up a valiant effort, but the search for Elbert Hughes, 14, and Michael Houston, 13, ended in tragedy.

"One of them was my son and the other was my nephew," said Doris Jordan.  "I could hear them laughing and playing before all of this happened."

Hughes and Houston drowned trying to retrieve a basketball from the water behind their Raleigh neighborhood.  The boat they were in quickly took on water.  A third teenager swam to safety and called for help.

"I tried to get my son," Jordan said.  "I saw him going under, I couldn't save him."

Debra Parrish, a neighbor, said anyone can wander down an overgrown pathway and access the water.

"I just knew something like this was going to happen one day," Parrish said.

Parrish and other parents said the water should be fenced in to keep kids out.

"We done lost two people already that we love so dearly," Parrish said, "and who knows what's going to happen next time."

Jordan prays there will not be a next time.

"He didn't deserve to suffer like this," Jordan said.  "No child deserves to suffer like that.  No child."

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