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2-Year-Old Drowns at Park During Family BBQ, Who Is to Blame?

2-Year-Old Drowns at Park During Family BBQ & Dirty Lake Is Blamed

by Lisa Fogarty

The Fourth of July weekend ended in tragedy for one New York City family. Their 2-year-old daughter fell into a park lake and drowned after wandering off with her cousin during a family BBQ celebration.

Ruhshona Kurbonova, who is the youngest child in a family that includes three brothers, reportedly walked off with her 3-year-old cousin while their families were picnicking by a boathouse near Prospect Park's scenic lake. The children were gone for an agonizing five hours, during which their parents, police, and several strangers -- who had gathered for their own barbecues -- searched the 585-acre park for them.

Cops found the older boy first -- and he was covered in the deep green algae that also coats the lake. And then every parent's nightmare: Ruhshona's body was discovered dead in the murky water.

It goes without saying, the toddler's mother was reportedly inconsolable over her little girl's death. Her uncle said the kids walked off and no one had any idea they were gone. I can see how that could happen because children -- particularly at that age -- really can escape in seconds if we don't keep them glued to our side at all times.

When something tragic happens, especially if it is the result of an accident, we often search for something to blame. But parkgoers didn't have to look very far this weekend to find a culprit: the "dirty" lake. Police reportedly had a difficult time finding the girl because the lake is covered with Azolla caroliniana, which forms a thick green film on top of the water and makes it very difficult to distinguish between the lake and the surrounding grassy areas.

Park officials say they skim the lake weekly with a weed harvester but that the algae always grows back.

It seems totally possible that the children were playing near the lake and accidentally fell into it because they were unable to see where the water begins and the land ends. And it's heartbreaking -- no parent should ever be forced to bury her child.

But there are only so many things that can be done to tame nature. This sad story serves as an important reminder to us that if we are spending leisure time with our children in parks or on mountains or in any other natural setting, we have to remember that these dangers exist.

Do you think the park could have done more to ensure this didn't happen or was this just a tragic accident?

by on Jul. 7, 2014 at 9:17 AM
Replies (11-14):
by on Jul. 8, 2014 at 8:52 AM
1 mom liked this

 I agree and youngest is autistic too.   =)

Quoting Bajanmama:

Tragic. Pointing fingers won't bring the poor child back, but maybe it would encourage the officials to fill in the lake, or build a little wall around it, and parents should also consider an alarm system. I think there was something you put on the kid and you the parent keep the receiver and when the child gets further than a certain distance from you an alarm sounded. It must be just horrifying not to know where your child is at that age. My teenaged son used to wander a few years back, run away from home every chance he got. I know the terror of suddenly realizing he is gone and I don't know how long. He has autism. Fortunately my neighbors all keep an eye out and call me if they see him outside alone. 


by Bronze Member on Jul. 8, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

I really hate to even enter into casting blame... It was clearly a tragic accident, and no I don't think park officials can be held liable. While we have all had toddlers and know how difficult it is to keep tabs on them at all times, the reality is that the parents chose to take the kids to the park and were thus responsible for supervising them. How heartbreaking for this family. :(

by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM
Tragic but they should have kept a better eye on her especially in a natural setting like that. I like what a pp said an alarm of some sort that a child/parent each get a piece
by Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:28 AM
Without a doubt the parents are to should be watching your toddlers close and they should not have been able to walk off without the parents noticing....
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