Tifton Gazette


March 29, 2013

Toddler drowns in Enigma

TIFTON — A one-year-old Berrien County boy died March 23 at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon after he drowned in a goldfish pond behind a residence in the 400 block of Garden City Road in Enigma, said Enigma Police Chief Arel Valdez.

He said on March 19, a call came in to 911 at approximately 7:51 p.m. in reference to a report that a child had fallen into a pond and was not breathing. He said upon his arrival to the residence, he took the child, Troy Joe Lilly, from his parents and tried to clear his throat and perform CPR. He noted that Lilly was unresponsive. He said it appeared as if Lilly had been eating something. He said he tried clearing the child’s airways so he could breathe.

Valdez said due to one squad with the Berrien County Emergency Medical Services that had already been dispatched out to a call and another squad that was headed to Tifton (he knew it would take a while for them to return to Enigma), he made the decision to put Lilly into his vehicle and try to meet Tift County EMS.

However, he said as he headed out on Garden City Road, a Berrien County EMS ambulance appeared behind him, so he stopped and gave Lilly to them for transportation to Tift Regional Medical Center. He said Tift County EMS assisted.

Valdez said Lilly was then transported to the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. He said on March 23, Lilly died from his injuries. His funeral was held Wednesday in Enigma.

Valdez explained that when the incident occurred, apparently Lilly’s parents were cooking and opened the back door to ventilate the house due to their air conditioning unit freezing up. He said Lilly wandered out of the back door and ended up at the pond, which is located 47 feet from the steps of the back of the house to the pond where he fell in. He said the depth of the goldfish ponds in the area varies; they’re approximately 3 to 6 feet deep.

Valdez said it took about two or three minutes for Lilly’s parents to notice that he was missing from inside the house. They found him in the pond, he said. He said they tried giving Lilly CPR before he arrived on the scene.

Valdez said, “On behalf of the city of Enigma, our heart and prayers are with the family in their time of need.”

To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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