Florence family grieves loss of 5-year-old

FLORENCE, Ky. - The family of the 5-year-old boy who drowned in Florence on Saturday are still processing his absence.

"There's his favorite fishing hat that he had," said Glenda Poe, grandmother to James "Bubba" Harris, in her home, just two days after the boy died when his family's car rolled into a pond and he drowned. "He was never unhappy."

Poe said , "Bubba," and his sister, Elizabeth were excited to go to dinner at a relatives house with their mother, Courtney, when the car in question rolled into a nearby retention pond on Surrey Court at 6 p.m.  Saturday.

"She thought they were just playing in the driveway, and Courtney was getting her hair stuff, and her wallet, and Elizabeth come running in, and said, Bubba's in the lake, he's in the car," Poe said.
From what the family can gather, the children, and the family dog, had entered the car before their mother to wait, when the parking break on the car either failed, or Bubba accidentally hit the gear shift of the car as he sat in the front seat.

That's when Elizabeth and the dog escaped the car from the back seat, while James remained trapped in the front, according to family.

The keys to the vehicle were in the back seat.

Florence police are still investigating the incident.

Services for Bubba 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.

"We're going to travel down a rough road. But we'll get there...We know James is in a better place now," Bubba's grandfather, Richard Poe said.

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