Family retains lawyer after electrocution - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family retains lawyer after electrocution

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • What you need to know before riding an ATV

    What you need to know before riding an ATV

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:50:06 GMT
    A safety warning following four ATV deaths in Georgia this week.      A man died in Liberty County when his 4 wheeler crashed into a tree.  A woman and her two young grandsons died in Walker County whenMore >>
    A safety warning was issued following four ATV deaths in Georgia this week.   Experts say you should not operate ATV's on public roads. You should wear proper gear such as gloves, goggles,  and most importantly a Department of Transportation helmet.More >>
  • Daycare providers face deadline

    Daycare providers face deadline

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:14 GMT
    The close of business today is the registration deadline for Bright from the Start. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) has posted application packages for new and returning providersMore >>
    The close of business today is the registration deadline for Bright from the Start. The purpose of the program is to prepare children for success in Kindergarten and later school years. Programs are offered at local public schools or through private providers of preschool services.More >>
  • Kendrick Johnson family in Albany

    Kendrick Johnson family in Albany

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:33 AM EDT2014-04-23 08:33:54 GMT
    Wednesday morning the family of Kendrick Johnson will make an appearance at ASU to speak to students about their case, its all part of the university's criminal justice week. Those organizing the presentationMore >>
    Wednesday morning the family of Kendrick Johnson will make an appearance at ASU to speak to students about their case, its all part of the university's criminal justice week.More >>
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

The death of a student in a fountain at South Georgia Technical College in Americus is bringing legal action from the teen's family.

The student's mother says this is not the first time someone was shocked in that fountain.

Nearly a month after the death, the grieving mom says she still can't get answers about what happened.

Lillie Rhine said no one from South Georgia Tech has explained why her daughter died when she stepped into the school's fountain in September. But she says she has learned another student was shocked in that same fountain last year.  

Lillie Rhine is left to care for 2-year-old Zi'Quan, after his mother, Adriana Rhine, died September 27th in the fountain at South Georgia Technical College.

But Lillie says her questions about her daughter's death are still unanswered. "I really haven't been told the story yet. Just hearing from what different people say. That the baby's ball rolled into the fountain and she went in after it, and fell."

Her attorney says his investigation has found Rhine's death was preventable.

 "We know that it was not a drowning. We know it was an electrocution. Because some of the ones who rescued her or attempted to were electrocuted, or rather shocked," said Attorney Yehuda Smolar.

And Smolar says the most significant fact his investigation has found was August 15, 2011 another student, Ashley Bentley of Montezuma, was shocked in that same fountain.

"It's no accident. If that happened to somebody else a year ago and it turn around and happen to Adriana, that's no accident," Rhine said.

Smolar has notified state's agencies of the families intention to file suit, to get answers.

"We don't know if it was a faulty design. We believe it was obviously faulty maintenance. If it happened a year before, and it happened again, the conclusion is clear that it wasn't dealt with," Smolar said.

South Georgia Technical College officials said in a statement today: "This incident is currently under investigation by the Sumter County Sheriff's Department and South Georgia Technical College is unable to comment at this time."

Rhine's attorney said when they finish their investigation they will file suit to make sure this fountain is dealt with.

 "That it doesn't happen to anyone ever again. And that nobody else sends a child to school to receive a call that they are never coming back," Smolar said.

Lillie Rhine said Quan has asked about his mother, and she will file suit to be able to answer his questions.  

The Rhine's attorney says maintenance of the fountain is of course an issue, but their investigation is also looking into the fountain design and the equipment used. So there may be others besides the state named in their lawsuit.

Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith says the GBI Crime Lab has not filed a final autopsy report and has not released Rhine's cause of death.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

Powered by WorldNow