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Parents of a Missouri girl who drowned in an Oklahoma park pool file tort claim

A tort filing against the city of Jay, in Delaware County, is in connection with a botched 911 call.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL, For The Oklahoman Modified: May 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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— The parents of a 7-year-old Missouri girl who drowned at the Eucha State Park pool have filed a tort claim against the city of Jay and Delaware County in connection with a dispatcher’s handling of a 911 call.

Billy Ray Garcia and Mindy Jo Hinman filed the notice May 21. The document was presented Tuesday to Delaware County Commissioners, who will forward the tort claim to the county’s insurance company.

Kaitlynn Breann Garcia, of Seneca, Mo., died June 15. The child was attending a family event at the park with her aunt and uncle. Her body was found in about nine feet of water, the claim states.

The pool is not a public facility and is rented out for events where the group provides a lifeguard. The city of Tulsa owns Eucha State Park, and the city of Jay operates the pool.

During the nearly six-minute call, the dispatcher is overheard making several blunders, including misdialing the telephone number for the Jay Police Department. It takes the dispatcher nearly four minutes to reach the department.

At the beginning of the call, the 911 dispatcher asks the caller where the Lake Eucha swimming pool is. Eucha State Park is four miles south of Jay on State Highway 59/10.

The dispatcher is heard asking someone for the telephone number of the Jay Police Department.

“We need somebody here now,” the exasperated caller says after hearing the dispatcher call the wrong number when trying to reach Jay police.

The dispatcher, who had several years of experience, gave his two-week notice before the accident and is no longer with the sheriff’s department.

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