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Mother wrestles with son’s death

Friends and neighbours reacted with shock yesterday to news of the drowning death of nine-year-old Olisa (Oli) Joseph.

Friends and neighbours reacted with shock yesterday to news of the drowning death of nine-year-old Olisa (Oli) Joseph.

“If I ever had a kid, I would have wanted him to be like Oli. He was a good kid, very protective of his sister. His mother, Donna, is a good woman too. We need more people like that,” neighbour Mary Williams said.

She said it had been a hard time already for the Joseph family with the loss of Olisa’s grandfather two weeks ago.

Olisa slipped on the icy shore of the Rideau River and fell into the water Tuesday while playing with a friend. A small bay with an open stretch of shoreline lies only metres away from a park with a play structure and swings.

Coun. Mathieu Fleury of Rideau-Vanier ward said that the city will have to review safety precautions at the site but that not enough information is available yet.

“The city is looking into how we can work with the family,” Fleury said, adding the Sandy Hill Community Centre had opened its counselling services to those grieving for Olisa.

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