Suspected Drowning in Dothan's Garden District

By: Danielle Eldredge Email
By: Danielle Eldredge Email

Authorities continue to investigate an apparent drowning in Dothan’s Garden District.

A man was found face down in a backyard pool.

"It was a sad scene this morning, but the event should serve as a reminder to the community, especially during these summer months, that pool safety is a priority," said reporter Danielle Eldredge.

"This morning about 11:30 I got a call from the Dothan Police Department to respond to 110 Camellia drive and we found a 52-year-old male in the swimming pool,” said Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd.

That man was David Patton.

He was last seen alive Wednesday night while swimming in his neighbor's pool.

"Well he was here last night with the neighbors in the pool and they went to bed and the owner of the house came back today around 10:30 today and found him in the pool," said Byrd.

Patton could swim and had no known medical problems.

At this point Coroner Byrd suspects drowning as the cause of death, but won't know for sure until he sees the autopsy results.

Although Byrd and other officials at the scene do not suspect foul play, they are still concerned.

"I think most people are extremely safe in their pools but there is always room for improvement and one drowning in our community is too much," said Dothan Fire Captain Chris Etheredge.

Etheredge says if you see someone struggling in the pool, don't jump in after them.

"They're panicked and they can cause you to be a victim as well so if you have a safety ring you can throw and then tow them in. Any type of rope you can throw out to them or a large stick you can use for them to hold onto and pull them to the side would be the preferable method. Going in after them is always your last resort," said Etheredge.

Patton's autopsy results could take up to 6 weeks to come in.

Etheredge says even if someone is a strong swimmer, they can still become a victim of drowning.

He says many times in these hot summer months, swimmers can overheat or succumb to fatigue while in the pool.

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