OKLAHOMA CITY – A metro family is mourning the loss of their three-year-old son in a drowning accident last weekend by speaking out in hopes that no one else suffers such grief.
It is a case where one of those simple child safety locks just wasn't enough to stop a fun-loving, curious young boy, resulting in a tragic accident. His family is trying to focus on the good times right now and say if you had known Gabriel Prewitt, he would have touched your heart.
Gabriel's uncle, Justin Prewitt, says his three-year-old nephew was a happy boy and very smart.
"He wasn't shy at all. He'd go up to anybody and say hi, and you'd become his friend in moments."
He said his nephew was always figuring out how to lock and unlock doors.
"Doors was his thing, opening and closing them. He always had to do that," Prewitt said.
Gabriel and his family were sleeping at a relative's house early this past Saturday. The boy apparently figured out how to remove the plastic child safety lock from the knob on the backdoor and wandered outside.
"You need to have an alarm on your door, especially if you have a pool in your backyard. And especially if it's a pool you can't have a fence around," Prewitt said.
Prewitt doesn't have a pool at his house, but he does have an eight-year-old and two-year-old, Gabriel's cousins.
"I personally have went and got more locks and then the cheap alarms for my house that scream out when the doors open," he said.
And he suggests families with small children do the same and never assume something like this only happens to someone else.
"It's something you see on the news that's not part of your family. It's something you see of, you don't feel it."
Prewitt said this type of thing happens more than one might think. His father-in-law is a policeman and on a few occasions has picked up kids wandering the neighborhood while their parents were sleeping at home.
Gabriel's dad is currently between jobs which makes the funeral and medical bills on top of their grief a bit overwhelming.
A fund has been set up at First Fidelity Bank. Donations can be made at any location or mailed to:
The Gabriel Prewitt Benefit Fund
First Fidelity Bank
PO Box 32282
Oklahoma City, Ok 73123