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Boy who drowned had fascination with water

Mar. 5, 2007

It was a formula for disaster for a nearly 5-year-old autistic boy, the victim of a drowning last week in Surprise, authorities said Monday.

Brandon Cruz was a known climber with a fascination for water, said Kevin Pool, an assistant Surprise fire chief.

Brandon died Friday afternoon after being pulled from a backyard pool in his Surprise neighborhood, Pool said. advertisement

The boy, who was pronounced dead at a Sun City West hospital, was discovered in the pool after police and firefighters launched a search of his neighborhood near 174th Drive and Acapulco Lane, just south of Greenway Road.

Earlier, Brandon's worried grandmother had called authorities to report the boy missing, Pool said.

A Surprise police officer looked over a fence and spotted the boy in the pool, Pool said. Nobody was home at the house where the boy was found.

The gate to the back yard was locked and investigators believe that Brandon likely gained access to the swimming pool by scaling a fence, Pool said.

Pool said it was unknown how long he may have been in the cold water. CPR was administered after the child was removed, he added.

Disaster struck twice Friday with the death of Brandon and an 11-month-old girl who drowned in a backyard pool at her east Mesa home, according to the Children's Safety Zone, a Web site that keeps track of Valley drownings.

The service reports that so far this year, Brandon and Victoria Kravec are the only Valley children who have lost their lives in water-related incidents.
Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
By Brent Whiting
Copyright 2007 Arizona Republic

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