Published On: Mon, Aug 20th, 2012

Two separate drowning incidents shock Tampa Bay headlines as

Yvonne Clanton changes her Facebook cover photo to one of her 8-year-old son Sam and 7-year-old daughter Selah. Both children are adopted, both have special needs and both nearly drowned in the Erie Canal.

Jaden Justice, on the right, with his younger brother in a recent family photo

The Clantons left their Zephyrhills church and home and traveled to New York to seek medical attention for some of their children with special needs.

Police explain that Jon Clanton of Zephyrhills was pushing a double stroller that held his two young children, 8-year-olds Sam and Saleh, as they walked the Erie Canal path, when the stroller got away from Clanton, went over a steep embankment and into the water.

Sam was pulled out safely, but Selah is currently in guarded condition at a Rochester hospital.

Meanwhile, a 5-year-old drowning at a birthday party at a St Pete motel.

St. Petersburg Police said the family was throwing a birthday party at the motel where they reside. At some point Jadan Justice slipped into the deep end of the pool. Another motel resident saw the child at the bottom of the pool, dove in to rescue him. Two others began CPR, but Jadan passed away at the hospital.

Jadan’s father, James Justice, told Bay News 9 he blames the motel because he said the pool was supposed to be closed.

“They didn’t close the pool at 8 o’clock like they was supposed to,” he said. “They were negligent and now my son is gone.”

Justice asks for prayer, not for himself, but for his entire family.

Selah Clanton/Facebook photo

The Clanton’s aided by two students, Bridget Hughes and Lindsay Wahl who jumped into the water and swam to the stroller. Wahl swam with the boy and pulled him to an area where others could lift him out of the water. Hughes and the father stayed with the stroller and had difficulty getting the young girl free.

One family deal with the loss of their child, calling for prayers while another prays they will not lose one of their children.

During a news conference Thursday, Dr. Lambert read a statement from the Clanton family that thanked the Rochester police and fire departments and those from the University of Rochester community who helped out:

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Rochester Police and Fire Departments and the good Samaritans who helped rescue our children Sam and Selah yesterday after their stroller rolled into the Eric Canal. It is a miracle that the right people were there at the right time and the children are alive today because if it. Both Sam and Selah are special needs kids, which makes this tragic accident even more heartbreaking for us. Sam is doing well, but we ask everyone to pray for Selah, whose condition is grave. Selah is the newest member of our family, being recently adopted, but we love her like our own and pray it’s God’s will for her to pull through.

“Although we call Florida home, we have traveled to Rochester many times over the last five years so that Sam could be treated by Dr. Aquavella at Strong Memorial Hospital. We are so very grateful for the care Sam has received, and for the support of the Ronald McDonald House which we call ‘Home’ when we are here in town. The outpouring of concern from the Rochester community had been a comfort to us and we want everyone to know that we feel blessed to have you all praying for our family.”


On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Brandon Jones says:

    Update from Selah’s mom: Update! I have some good news to report. Selah is making some small advances. Her pupils are bigger and are reacting more. She is still taking some breaths on her own. The neruo did some testing and there was some positive responses but we have a LONG way to go. We think she is opening her eyes just a tiny bit on her own. I asked him if he thought she would live and he said “oh yes based on how things are remaining stable in her body BUT I don’t know how far she will return, she may never come off a vent, but it is in the hands of God” She has remained stable in all areas, her heart rate is up still and we need it to come down to a normal range. Pray for our little girl, pray that God will bring her back to us completely. Pray that she has a gag reflux and that she begins blinking her eyes…. thank you all

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