More than two months after 3-year-old Borne Coletrane drowned in a retention pond in an east Charlotte neighborhood, a makeshift memorial is all that remains marking the site of the tragedy.
Natasha Coletrane, Borne’s mother, has started a petition to change the neighborhood and the liability Coletrane says contributed to her son’s death.
Natasha talks about young Borne like he is still here.
“That’s a picture of how he is, he’s always smiling,” she told WSOC.
But Natasha has also been grieving Borne’s loss since his death on June 4.
“He made everybody happy, he was everybody’s sunshine,” Natasha said.
She says Borne somehow left the family’s home, ran across the street and drowned in a retention pond at The Reserve at Canyon Hills neighborhood in east Charlotte.
Borne was on the autism spectrum and was also hearing-impaired, his mother said.
She is adamant she doesn’t know how Borne got out of the house and to the nearby pond.
“I have no idea how he got out the door,” Natasha said. “I ran back down and they pulled him out of the pond.”
First responders rushed Borne to the hospital, but he later died.
Its the memories of her son’s silly personality that keep Natasha going and motivate her to protect other families from the same kind of tragedy.
“I can’t make it make sense, but I wanted to make a difference,” Natasha told WSOC. “Put some gates around these little ponds.”
Natasha has spearheaded a petition and is collecting signatures to make the change a reality.
“Oh God, I’ve got so many signatures,” she said.
She plans to deliver the petition — pushing for gates or fences around the ponds — to the development’s homeowners association.
So far, she said she hasn’t had any luck with the HOA and she fears time is running out.
“It could happen to anyone, anybody,” Natasha said.
WSOC spoke with one of the Coletrane’s neighbors in the days after the drowning; that person too called for fences around the water.
WSOC reached out to the homeowner’s association then, and again Wednesday. So far, WSOC has not heard back.
WSOC is a news partner of The Charlotte Observer.