Gardendale Girl Drowns Saving Her Little Brother

Swimming in a neighborhood pond can not only be a fun summer activity for children, but a cool activity as well.  However, if the children cannot swim and no adult is there to supervise, the activity can very quickly turn into a tragedy.

A 9-year-old Gardendale girl drowned Sunday after saving her little brother while playing in a Haleyville pond.  The three siblings were swimming in the pond, according to Bear Creek Fire and Rescue Chief Robert Taylor, on Sunday afternoon, when the 7-year-old boy drifted into deeper water.  Brandi Odum, went out to her little brother, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to safety.  However, Taylor stated, the little girl then went under the water.

Fire and Rescue officials arrived on the scene at 5:42 in the evening after receiving a call reporting a possible drowning.  When they arrived on the scene, the child’s grandmother was giving her CPR.  Paramedics took over the resuscitation attempts, and Brandi was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

According to, since 1999, an average of more than 815 children ages 14 and under have died as a result of unintentional drowning each year.  Also, since 2001, an average of more than 3,700 children sustained nonfatal near drowning-related injuries every year.  Children under 5 years of age represent the majority – 76% – of reported fatalities and almost 80% of emergency department-treated submersion injuries.

SafeKids recommends the following to prevent drowning in children:

  • Always stay within an arm’s reach of your child whenever he is around water.
  • Immediately drain the bath tub when the bath is over.
  • Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use.
  • Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a tub or around any other body of water, even if he or she knows how to swim.
  • Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
  • Children in baby bath seats and rings must be watched every second.

Chief Taylor said that this tragic incident was an emotional scene for both the family and lawmen, and also stated, “I can’t think of anything more noble than to give your life to save someone else.”