In yet another tragic incident, a 31-year-old Indian techie, Nagaraju Surepalli and his three-year-old son, Ananth Sai, drowned on Wednesday in a community swimming pool in Novi in Michigan state of the United States. Novi Police Chief David Molloy told the Oakland Press that on Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., the police arrived in response to a 911 call to find an unresponsive man and a toddler in the swimming pool of Glens of Northville apartment complex in Novi.
According to the police, the father-son duo had been playing by the poolside around 3 pm when the child accidentally fell into the deep end of the pool while riding his tricycle. The father jumped into five-feet water to try and save his son but accidentally drowned himself. Reportedly, neither of the victims were experienced swimmers. The pool did not have any lifeguard and the two victims were the only ones in the pool area around that time.
“They were not intending to swim, they were just going to sit by the pool, and that was evidenced by what we found at the scene and certainly by what they were wearing. They were not dressed in swim attire”, Malloy told CBS Detroit.
The bodies were rushed to the St. John Providence Hospital in Novi after emergency responders attempted life-saving procedures. The autopsies were performed the following morning wherein the cause of death was declared to be accidental drowning.
Surepalli, along with his 29-year-old wife and 3-year-old son, had been in the US for three years on a non-immigrant work visa (H1-B) working in Detroit area as a software engineer. According to his Facebook profile, he studied at Vignan Engineering College in Vadlamudi.
His friends who describe him as “one of the most jovial, honest, friendly person you would ever meet and always smiling” set up a GoFundMe campaign to financially assist his grieving wife and family. “In the midst of this tragedy, we’ve set up this fund to help them with the funeral expenses and other ongoing grief/recovery support costs. This includes the very expensive process of carrying their mortal remains back to India,” the organizers wrote. At the time of writing this report, the campaign of raising $150,000 has already exceeded its goal through the contributions of 4,067 persons.
Surepalli’s wife, Bindu Naga Raj, is the direct beneficiary of the above campaign. The family hailed from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.