Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Deadly culvert meets standards

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — While Glen Este Middle School struggled Monday with the devastating loss of two eighth-grade best friends, the county engineer said there are no regulations requiring a grate or fence over the storm drain where the boys drowned.

        The reason: They create more problems than they solve.

        A grate would have prevented Chance Carr and Lincoln Schlueter, both 13, from entering the drain at Park 50 TechneCenter in Miami Township on Saturday, but it would also prevent debris from washing out, causing flooding, said County Engineer Carl Hartman.

        The boys were in-line skating nearby, but it remains unclear how they were overtaken by storm runoff.

        Meanwhile, Glen Este students with reddened eyes walked the hallways amid somber whispers.

Jim Baumann mourns the death of his nephew, who drowned in the culvert at right.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        “There's a lot of disbelief, shock, sadness,” said Randy Siler, head of the Clermont County Crisis Team.

        Students wrote memorials for the parents of the boys, who were inseparable. In last year's yearbook photo of the school band, the boys sat next to each other.

        Retention basins are common because they direct water-flow, minimizing flood ing.

        The county regulates their capacity, but warning signs aren't required and a fence would be ineffective, Mr. Hartman said. “What needs to be is an awareness program about safety.”

        County officials met with developers earlier this month to discuss water drainage, Mr. Hartman said. The next meeting will address safety concerns, too.

PULFER: Grieving mother grateful for Chance
Community ready to help out boys' families
Services, donations for the victims

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