2 Pike County men drown in swimming pool

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

authorities said.

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.