Two Pike County men drowned Saturday after
the owner of a pool jumped in to help a man who could not swim.
The men died shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, Pike County
Johnny McEwen, 59, drowned while trying to rescue Cody Coney,
32. Coney had fallen into the pool and could not swim.
"It's a real tragedy," Sheriff Mark Shepherd said. "I
certainly commend the owner for trying to do what he did. He did
what he could do to save the man and gave his own life for it."
Coney's wife, Loretta, said Coney's family was in and around
McEwen's back-yard pool when the accident happened. McEwen was
inside when Coney, in the shallow end, tried to climb a ladder out
of the pool.
"He got out, slipped, and he just give out and went down,"
Loretta Coney said.
She got McEwen, who ran to the pool and jumped in.
"Every time hed get him up ... hed go back down, like something
was pulling him down," Loretta Coney said in an article at
She said her husband took medication for seizures and wasn't
sure if he was having a seizure at the time of his death.
The drownings were the first in Pike County since 2004 when two
died in the Bogue Chitto River in separate accidents.