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Kettering girl, 17, drowns in apartment complex pool


A 17-year-old Kettering girl’s dream of becoming a lifeguard ended on Wednesday when she drowned in her apartment complex swimming pool, said family members.

Raena Bell, a student at Meadowdale High School in Dayton, was swimming in the Heritage Knoll Apartments complex pool with when she may have had a seizure, family members said.

“She knew how to swim better than anyone else,” said Cheryl Surles, Bell’s aunt.

Bell had been in the water several minutes before she was discovered, said Officer Ron Roberts, of the Kettering Police Department.

Based on preliminary autopsy results, the Montgomery County Coroner confirmed the cause of death is drowning.

Bell has been swimming since around age 5 and was certified in first aid, according to her family.

Residents pulled her out of the pool, attempted CPR and around 3 p.m., called emergency personnel. Bell was transported to Miami Valley South Hospital.

She was not breathing when she was transported to the hospital where at 4 p.m. she was pronounced dead, said Kettering police.

No lifeguard was on duty at the pool.

Surles and Bell’s cousin, 19-year-old Sedia James, said a lifeguard is needed at the pool.

Bell’s mother, who is a lifeguard, inspired her daughter to follow in her footsteps when she finished high school, according to family members.

Bell liked to play video games and enjoyed watching the Disney Channel and the television show Vampire Diaries, James said.

“She was a kind sweet little girl,” Surles said.


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