Friday, July 18th 2008, 9:33 pm
By: News 9

Today's story is going to be one of those I won't forget for a long time.

I was assigned to cover the drowning of an 11-year old girl on NW 9th Street in Oklahoma City.  Police say she was in the backyard and jumped into the family's above-ground pool, but never resurfaced.

The scene had all of the normal elements of a drowning - the police cars, fire trucks, TV cameras, family members and neighbors running around - but it was a group of small girls who walked around the corner that I'll never forget.

I gently walked up to them (I could tell they were upset) and asked if they saw anything or knew the girl who drowned.  They did and they did.  They tried to tell me as much as possible before they started choking on their own tears.  I stopped them, said ‘thank you', and walked away.

I could have asked them for an on-camera interview and I could have continued pushing for more information, but they were in pain.  And they were kids who just watched a good friend die.  I watched as they jumped into their mom's big SUV and I think it was at that moment that the girl in the front seat lost it.  She buried her face into her hands and a waterfall of tears poured out.   I looked over at mom and she was also wiping away tears from her eyes.

God bless them.

Rusty Surette