Alabama Girl, 9, Drowns Saving Younger Brother

By Molly Maddock

Jul 25, 2012 4:06pm

A 9-year-old Alabama girl died a hero after pulling her 8-year-old brother from a pond but then slipping into deep water and drowning, police said.

Brandi Odom was pulled from the water Sunday evening by her grandmother, who was administering CPR when firefighters arrived at the scene at 5:42 p.m. The girl was pronounced dead at a Haleyville hospital at 6:16.

Police say the children were playing in a small pond behind their grandparents’ house in the town of Haleyville when the boy went too far into the water. Brandi pulled her brother to safety but became trapped in the deep water herself.

“Everyone is heartbroken about it. We have grief counseling for the firefighters who were on the scene,” said Bear Creek Fire Chief Robert Taylor.

Taylor believes neither of the children knew how to swim and stresses that this tragedy could have been prevented. “Swimming lessons. That’s a big thing. If you’ve got a small child, get them enrolled in swimming lessons.”

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