Jordan Oliver, an 11-year-old Bolingbrook, Illinois girl, drowned in the retention pool behind her elementary school after a “bridge-jumping” dare on Tuesday.
WGN-TV reports that the girl, along with six friends, were taking turns climbing over the bridge railing at Indian Chase Meadows Park and jumping in. Jordan reportedly jumped in twice. The first time, she was able to swim back to shore, but the second time, she resurfaced at first, but then disappeared.
Police report that divers finally pulled her from the pond after 45 minutes. Attempts to resuscitate her failed, and she was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The fifth-grader’s father, Jamal Oliver, said in a statement on Wednesday that:
“She lit up everything. When you were around her, it was impossible not to feel good when she was around.”
According to the Naperville Sun Times, Louise Covelli, who lives near the pond, saw emergency crews respond to the scene on Tuesday. She went to visit the bridge on Wednesday, and stated:
“It’s so sad. Can you imagine what those kids feel like that were with her? Her friends? Poor little girl. Eleven years old.”
Jamal Oliver went on to say that:
“The girls she was with are good girls. We’re heartbroken for them and we hope they’re okay, we’re not here blaming anybody. We’re just here to love our daughter and to say thank you to the community.”
Grief counselors were present at Jordan Oliver’s school, Pioneer Elementary, on Wednesday. The school’s principal, Carmen Killingsworth, said in a statement, which was released by the district:
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of Jordan Oliver. She was a very sweet, very responsible young lady and was an outstanding student. We have activated our crisis counseling team to work with any students or staff members who feel the need to talk with someone about what happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”