CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – It is a story we have reported far too often this summer - a day of swimming that ended with a child's death. This time it happened at a southern Indiana hotel. Six-year-old Ron-Deja Lynn Stevenson died Tuesday night at Kosair Children's Hospital.
On Saturday, July 16, Ron-Deja was at Holiday Inn Lakeview in Clarksville with family members for a party. A neighbor tells us they everyone was headed back to their hotel room when they realized Ron-Deja was not with them. They went back to the hotel pool and found her at the bottom.
Ron-Deja died just before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Deputy coroner Sam Weakley said her cause of death is listed as "complications from near drowning."
"She always use to run up and down the block with her friends," said Adrian Goodlett, a neighbor. "I say use to, and I can't believe I'm using that type of terminology."
Those who knew her tell us they remember Ron-Deja as a sweet, smart girl and they can't believe she is gone this soon.
"Very sweet," said Goodlett. "All children are sweet, but she was six years old. She was very beautiful. She was intelligent. When you spoke to her she was well mannered."
Greg James, president of the company that owns Holiday Inn Lakeview, released a statement which said in part:
"On behalf of both my family and all James hotel employees, our heartfelt condolences go out to little Ron-Deja and her family. As the father of three young daughters, I cannot imagine the pain and hurt they are feeling..."
You can read the entire statement by clicking on the link below.
Funeral arrangements are pending.