Originally created 07/23/98

E. coli problems cause death of 2-year-old girl



ATLANTA -- A 2-year-old girl died Wednesday afternoon from complications after contracting E. coli at a suburban water park last month, park officials said.

"Our deepest prayers and sympathy go out to the family ... for their loss," said White Water Park general manager Sonny Horton.

He identified the child as McCall Akin of Kennesaw, who had been in critical condition at Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center in Atlanta since June.

A total of 26 children contracted the bacteria at White Water on one of four days in June. McCall was believed to have contracted the bacteria on June 12, park officials said.

Officials said they now think exposures occurred on four days: June 11, 12, 17 and 18. They believe the bacteria was spread either through a fecal accident in a kiddie pool on each of those days or through fecal accidents on the 11th and the 17th that left residual contamination the following days.

The mother of a 3-year-old boy filed suit Friday against the company that owns White Water. Anne Hilbert of Woodstock is seeking $31,000 to cover her son Michael's hospital bills and unspecified other damages from Silver Dollar City of Branson, Mo.

"We're literally just devastated by this news," Mr. Horton told Atlanta's WSB-TV. "The E. coli bacteria can happen anywhere and at any place, and it's just unfortunate that it happened here."