FALL RIVER (CBS) – Criminal charges are forthcoming in the drowning death of a woman at a public swimming pool in Fall River, the Bristol County District Attorney’s office announced Monday.

The DA said a “systematic failure” of DCR workers contributed to the death of 37-year-old Marie Joseph. Her body went undiscovered for two days while the Fall River Lafayette Park Pool was open in late June, forcing the closure of the pool and a sweeping review of pool safety statewide.

Reckless endangerment of a child charges will be brought against Brian Shanahan, the DCR Regional Director, and Jeff Carter, the SouthCoast District Manager for failing to do enough to protect the kids who used that pool.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports. 

Read: DA’s Investigation Conclusion (.pdf)

DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr. says he has issued a number of policy changes since the death, and  cooperated fully with the investigation.

A statement from Lambert said in part:

“I requested and received Brian Shanahan’s resignation on July 20, and on the same day placed Jeff Carter on administrative leave. We are now reviewing the report to determine if additional steps are necessary.

Once again, we extend our deepest condolences to Marie Joseph’s family and friends.”

The investigation found that Joseph’s inability to swim and murky conditions of the water in the pool played a role in her death. Joseph went down a slide, and because the water was so cloudy, lifeguards didn’t see her struggling.

Time-lapse video also released showed the pool throughout the month of June, starting in the weeks before Joseph’s drowning on June 26.

The video showed debris had not been removed from the bottom of the pool before it was filled. The report said water at the time of Joseph’s drowning was nearly opaque.

Comments (5)
  1. taxedout says:

    Can this really be happening in Mass, someone is Responsible for something????….Very Sad story, so Sorry for the lady!!!

  2. Paula says:

    Cutting corners give me a break maybe Mr.Lambert needs to look into why they are turning people away from Campgrounds that are empty,then guess what DCR would have money and would not have had to cut any corners to save money.So many Campgrounds going empty while people want to use them but if you have used them already for two weeks you can not go back openings or not what a shame beautiful parks not getting to be used by us that pay there salaries with our tax money

  3. Deb says:

    Its sad that this woman died, but where was her friend, who took a picture of her, yet leaves the pool and goes home without her and says nothing to anyone and never does anything to report it? It seems very odd that a person would go to a pool with another person and pack up and leave without that person and go home and not say anything?

    1. blackbear1 says:

      I agree this a strange and sad commentary. I’m still not sure the entire story is being told. The friend?? Family?? Went home without her?? The child who told a lifeguard who did nothing?? Not sure of that either. What is the rest of the story??

    2. Jen K says:

      Isn’t it possible that they arrived separately? Maybe the friend had somewhere else they needed to be and left early? Or perhaps they didn’t go together at all, but just happened to run into each other there? I don’t remember the article saying that her friend “went home without her”. It is a very sad thing to have happened, but you’re placing blame on an unnamed “friend” based on nothing but your own unsubstantiated speculation.

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