• 12-year-old cousins drown in lake

    By: Matt Johnson

    Updated:

    DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - A Douglas County family says a 12-year-old girl is a hero for trying to save lives before she drowned at a Troup County lake.

    A’Jada McGuire was at a lake in West Point with her relatives Sunday afternoon for a family reunion.

    Her 12-year-old cousin, Carlton Woodall, and his twin brother began struggling in the water.

    A’Jada’s mother said her daughter knew how to swim and jumped in to help before any of the adults.

    “That was the kind of person she was. She loved helping everybody,” said Tara Thomas, A’Jada’s mother.

    She was able to hand one cousin up to her uncle before she and Carlton went under.


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    “He reached to grab her, but by that time the current had grabbed her and she had taken her last breath,” Thomas said.

    Troup County dive teams recovered their bodies three hours later.

    “I’m not supposed to be burying my baby. She’s supposed to be burying us,” Thomas said.

    Family members said A’Jada was active at school and preparing to take college prep classes.

    “Perfect child. Never had a complaint. Anything you asked her to do, she’d do it,” said Isiah Thomas, A’Jada’s father.

    Family members said trips to the lake will never be the same for them and especially for A’Jada’s younger siblings.

    “They don’t want to go to an ocean or lake or anything like that because they witnessed it first hand,” Tara Thomas said.

    The grieving parents said they don’t want anyone else to feel their pain.

    “Life vests, floaties, noodles, whatever. There’s no such thing as being too safe,” Tara Thomas said.

    GoFundMe pages have been set up for the families of A'Jada and Carlton.

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