South Fulton County

Family wants answers after city never told them loved one drowned repairing water main break

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A family says the city of South Fulton did not tell them their loved one died while repairing a city water main break.

They say they had to find out when a frantic coworker told them the news.

The City of South Fulton says out of respect for the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues, it is unable to provide comment at this time about what happened during and after the April 1st incident.

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Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke to the wife of Willie James Carter, 52, in her College Park home.

“I have nothing,” she told him while trying to contain her grief.

Tracey Carter said all she has are items given to her that were found on her husband after he drowned while at work, “All I have is a wet wallet, two dollar bills and a glove.”

What she doesn’t have is answers as to how he drowned while repairing a water main break at Butner Road and Union Road.

Carter says she dropped her husband off at the water main repair that morning.

“I want answers. I want to know what happened to my husband,” she said.

Carter says no one from the City of South Fulton told her he died or what happened.

She says she found out when a frantic co-worker showed up at her home.

“He said Swamp (Carter’s nickname) drowned and he said I tried to save him. I tried to save him. He said we pulled him out the water.”

When we asked police about the drowning the day of the incident we got an email from police saying there was no drowning that day.

South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows said that’s because his patrol unit didn’t inform his Public Affairs unit about the incident.

He apologized and said his department was working to make sure this didn’t happen again.

We asked the city for a response to the family’s claims no one has reached out to them or explained what happened.

The city said Carter was a subcontractor for T&J Industries.

A spokesperson expressed their deepest condolences, but once again, said they would not comment further out of respect for the privacy of Carter’s family.

“It’s outrageous,” the family’s attorney, Sam Starks, said about the city’s lack of communication.

Starks says Carter was working on the city’s infrastructure and they have a duty to tell the family what happened.

He says his office is investigating, “To determine exactly what happened. How it happened. Why it happened.”

Carter says her family won’t let this go.

“It wasn’t right. And if they think he wasn’t loved, they got another thing coming,” she said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family deal with their loss.

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