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Published:July 14th, 2007 06:19 EST
Fourth of July Picnic Ends in Tragedy

Fourth of July Picnic Ends in Tragedy

By Jennifer L. Hernandez

This is Jennifer Hernandez, from Keeping News Light, reporting for thesop.org  You have just tuned into a special edition broadcast covering the latest news story.  

A van carrying a mother and three small children rolled into a pond yesterday, killing all four passengers. Yesterday, July 4, Michelle McIntosh, 39, of Bridgeport, CT was traveling with three children in her mini-van on their way to Beardsley Park. McIntosh stopped her car to speak with a friend, another picnic-goer, about what area they should choose to begin to set-up. As McIntosh left her vehicle, she noticed that the van began to roll forward. She tried stopping the van however, she was caught with the van and it began to drag her several yards. She proceeded to run after the van and was able to get back into the vehicle just moments before it rolled into the pond where it was submerged in 15 to 20 feet of water for 25 minutes. McIntosh, her two-year old son David McIntosh, and three- year old family friend Julia Boyd were pronounced dead yesterday. McIntosh`s nephew, Jayden Wilson, was taken to a local area hospital and remained in critical condition until he passed away, today just before 2 pm.

Many individuals visited the park today to bring flowers, balloons and to pay respect to the lives lost. All of Bridgeport is in somber mood today and there is a deep sadness looming over the park. Everyone is puzzled and baffled as to how something like this could occur.

A close family friend drove in from the Bronx to offer support. He was there at the park today, trying to figure out just what could have gone wrong. According to sources, McIntosh parked her van on top of the hill, right in front of a curb approximately five to six inches high, on a diagonal. Trees and bushes cover the edge of the pond. There is just one open area, which drops into an embankment on the side of the pond. Many are wondering how the van could have rolled passed the curb and head directly to this open embankment. A young boy also visited the park with his mother this afternoon to offer support to the family, as he is Jayden`s friend and classmate. His look of concern and sincerity spoke volumes.

Bridgeporters are trying to put the pieces together as they are stunned by this tragedy.  Tearful and pensive McIntosh family members gathered by the pond today, as well. A girl was seen carrying a shoe that floated to the shore, which is reportedly the shoe of one of the victims. Floating in the water yesterday were the remnants of the anticipated picnic: a large case of bottled water, two bottles of soda, potato chips and watermelon in preparation for the Independence Day festivities. All of Bridgeport and individuals from all parts of the world, offer their sincerest thoughts and prayers for the family.

I remember reading about an Eskimo Legend. According to the legend, it proposes, perhaps, they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy. " May in due time, the family see four new shining stars.

On behalf of Bridgeport, I ask that everyone keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to share your thoughts and offer your words, please email me at justaskjl@aol.com and I will put together a show dedicated to sharing your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for joining me today. Once again, this is Jennifer Hernandez, from Keeping News Light, reporting for www.thesop.org