Va. couple drown in Shady Side pool

Family members find man, 76, and woman, 73, in home swimming pool

August 16, 2002|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

A Richmond, Va., couple in their 70s died yesterday after being found unconscious by family members in the pool of a Shady Side home where they were vacationing, authorities said.

Despite rescue efforts by relatives and paramedics, Clyde and Mary Lou Hundley died at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis yesterday afternoon.

Officials said that Clyde Hundley was found in the pool's deep end wearing swim trunks, while Mary Lou Hundley was in the shallow water in her nightclothes. County police said they do not know whether the drownings resulted from one spouse trying to save the other.

Clyde Hundley, 76, died shortly after arriving at the hospital; Mary Lou Hundley, 73, died at 2:21 p.m., a hospital spokeswoman said.

"They were alone. We don't know what happened," said the Rev. Tim Tate, whose family owns the house in the 1300 block of West River Road where the Hundleys were staying for the week.

The couple had joined their son and daughter-in-law, the Rev. Stephen and Becky Hundley of Lynchburg, Va., at the South County waterfront home that overlooks the West River. Becky Hundley is Tim Tate's sister.

"They were wonderful people," said Tate. "Both of their sons are pastors in the United Methodist Church, both of whom have doctorates. They were very active in their United Methodist church in Sandston, Va."

Tate said the home on West River Road is mainly used as a family summer getaway. His grandfather, Franklin L. Derrick, built the house in the 1950s.

Family members staying at the house discovered the couple floating in the pool yesterday morning, and attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation before county paramedics arrived at 11:18 a.m., said Capt. Michael Cox, a spokesman with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Emergency crews continued CPR and began advanced life support measures before transporting the couple to Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Officer Mark Shawkey, a county police spokesman, said police are conducting a routine investigation to rule out foul play and to make sure that the pool's electrical system wasn't a factor in the deaths.

He said Mary Lou Hundley recently had heart bypass surgery and was diabetic.

Residents of West River Road said the Derrick home is typically filled with activity during the summer, as different family members spend time there swimming and sailing.

"It's kind of like a family compound," said John J. Garrity, a retired Maryland Court of Special Appeals judge. "They're a very loving, caring family."

Garrity said he saw the elder Hundleys about 10 a.m. yesterday on the dock at the house.

"When we came back about noon, we saw the police cars outside," he said.

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