North Raleigh News

Electrocution, drowning confirmed as cause of 17-year-old lifeguard’s death

The investigation in September into the death of Rachel Anna Rosoff at the Heritage Point pool at 2226 Valley Forge Road was centered around an electrical breaker box on a building next to the pool complex.
The investigation in September into the death of Rachel Anna Rosoff at the Heritage Point pool at 2226 Valley Forge Road was centered around an electrical breaker box on a building next to the pool complex. rwillett@newsobserver.com

An autopsy report released last week confirms preliminary findings in the death of a 17-year-old lifeguard at the Heritage Point subdivision pool — she was electrocuted, which caused her to drown.

Rachel Anna Rosoff, a senior at Enloe High School, died at the northern Wake County pool on Sept. 3. A caller told a 911 dispatcher that he had arrived for an afternoon lifeguard shift at the pool and found Rosoff floating in the still-electrified water.

The pool water was electrified when a pump motor stopped working properly and a corroded wire prevented the flow of electricity that would have tripped the circuit breaker, according to a Sept. 9 report by Gregory A. Vance, a Wake inspections administrator.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s report said Rosoff’s death is consistent with corroded wiring and a fault in the pool’s motor.

Rosoff’s family, represented by attorneys from the Edwards Kirby law firm and Adam Neijna in Raleigh, said in a statement last week that they continue to investigate the causes of Rosoff’s death and those responsible for it.

“Rachel’s parents are committed to ensuring that reforms to local and state regulations will require stricter inspections of swimming pool electrical systems, so that tragedies such as these won’t occur again,” the statement said.

The N.C. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office are conducting investigations into Rosoff’s death.

The sheriff’s office has said no criminal activity is suspected. If the labor department determines there were safety violations, it could issue fines or citations to Aquatic Management Group, which manages the Heritage Point pool.

Michelle and Jordana Rosoff, mother and sister of teen lifeguard Rachel Rosoff, talk about Rachel's death. Rachel died by electrocution in a pool accident in North Raleigh in September.

Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi

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