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Police don't fault parents over child drowning

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POSTED: June 17, 2009 9:33 a.m.
A get-together turned tragic Sunday evening when a toddler drowned.
According to an incident report filed by Liberty County Deputy Andy Gose and Det. Brian Barnes, Johnny Matson, 2-1/2, was found floating in a pond in the 1400 block of Seabrook Island Drive in Midway.
“This was a tragic accident,” Barnes said. “From all indications, the parents took all necessary precautions.”
According to the report, Jerry Matson, 23, and his wife, Amanda, of Ludowici were visiting friends at 95 Seabrook Island Lane, having a barbecue.
Amanda Matson told officers the children had been sent inside because of mosquitoes. She later discovered the toddler was not with several other children playing in a room. The children thought Johnny Matson was watching cartoons in the living room.
The adults searched the residence and the area for the child. Barnes said they searched for several minutes when the homeowner noticed the family dog by a pond not far from the home.
Amanda Matson got in her car, drove to the pond and spotted her son face down in the water. Barnes said she bolted from the car, pulled her son from the water and began performing CPR. She continued until EMTs arrived to take over, according to the report.
Jerry Matson stayed at the residence watching the couple’s 13-month-old son.
Johnny Matson was taken to Winn Army community Hospital on Fort Stewart, where he was pronounced dead.
Barnes said Amanda Matson had reported locking doors leading outside, but her son was apparently able to turn the bolt and open the door.
The detective said there are only four houses in that part of Seabrook Island and two of them are empty.
 

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