Family friend: Boy, 5, dies after being trapped in submerged vehicle in Florence

FLORENCE, Ky. - A young boy died Friday evening after he was trapped inside a submerged vehicle in Florence, Ky. earlier in the day, according to a friend of the boy's family.

According to reports, James "Bubba" Harris, 5, his sister and the family dog were inside the car waiting to travel somewhere when it rolled into a retention pond located next to a home located on Surrey Court just before 6 p.m. The boy's sister, 9, and the family dog managed to escape the vehicle.

The boy was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the family friend.

Several rescuers went into the water before the car was completely submerged but were unable to get to the boy. The car was in the pond for at least 30 minutes before rescue crews were able to pull the car out of the water enough to remove the boy.

Police do not know if the boy was under water the entire time or if there was an air pocket inside the vehicle.

"This is one of those situations when you hear a 5-year-old is in a car submerged, everybody kind of throws caution to the wind and everybody is going to try to get in and try to get this child out. Unfortunately, the car was sinking too fast for us to be able to do that," said Capt. Linny Cloyd of the Florence Police Department.

Investigators say they don't know how the car got from the driveway to the pond. They aren't sure if the car was running or shifted into neutral.

The incident remains under investigation.

Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 7 at Stith Funeral Home in Florence, Ky. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 at the funeral home. Burial will be in Independence Cemetery in Independence, Ky.

Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates on this developing situation.


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