Improvements promised after child's drowning - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Improvements promised after child's drowning

A make-shift memorial now stands near the creek where Jacob Wade drowned.  The 7 year-old who was playing with friends one minute Monday evening.  He was swallowed up by the waters of the creek the next.

"Just a very unfortunate accident," says Shelby Co. Housing Authority Board Chairman Jeffrey Higgs.

The housing authority oversees Horton Gardens.  It's where Jacob Wade lived and died.

"I mean, we're sorry like the entire community that this happened to this young man," says Higgs.

Higgs released a letter the day after the drowning.  Action News 5 got a copy from the county.  It highlights three things the authority plans to do.  Those include putting up a barrier to keep kids away from the creek. 

"They've always been in our plans," says Higgs.

"It's something that should have been done a long time ago," says Wanda Johnson.

Johnson's daughter was a friend of Jacob's.    

"It's too late now, for him," she says.

She and others say they were promised a fence before.  It never went up.

"Everybody knows right from wrong," says Johnson.  "Everybody knows what should have been done," she adds.

"It's better late than never," says Pastor Larry Redick.

Redick got to know Jacob through his church.

"Sometimes tragedy to happen for good to come out of a situation," says Redick.  "So, I see a lot of good in this here," he adds.

Jeffrey Higgs admits that Horton Gardens is in need.

"We have some very serious needs," says Higgs.

Higgs cannot give us a time-line as to when the improvements will be made.  The authority gets it's money from the federal government.  Higgs hopes to have a barrier up as soon as possible.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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