Father, daughter die in Fairfield: Police want to know how truck ended up in pond

Fairfield police are continuing to investigate how a father of two young children crashed a pickup truck Monday night into the pond of an apartment complex, which led him and his daughter to drown.

Morance D. Harrison, 35, and his 6-year-old daughter, Nena Harrison, both of Cincinnati, drowned in a pond at the Villages of Wildwood off Ross Road after the red Ford truck crashed sometime before 7:40 p.m. Monday. The man’s 4-year-old son survived the crash, and at least one witness said the man may have brought his son to the surface before attempting to rescue his daughter, according to police.

A passerby rescued the boy from the water, and the boy was released to the custody of his mother, who lives in Forest Park, police said.

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The crash appears to be accidental, said Fairfield police officer Doug Day.

Police were first called to the area of Chapel Hill Drive and Brittany Lane at 6:18 p.m. for a report of a man “speeding” around the lake with two children inside the vehicle, according to the first of a pair of 911 calls. Police said the man was “doing donuts” in the grass in the Villages of Wildwood earlier in the day, and speeding around the pond, which was once a part of a golf course before the apartment complex was constructed.

In the first 911 call, the female caller, who said she worked at the complex, said the man was “driving all over our grass” after entering near the kids’ playground. The truck went over a concrete curb between the complex’s dog park and fitness center. Then he drove down the hill and around the pond, she said.

Day said officers responded but were unable to locate the man or truck in the complex before clearing the scene.

At 7:36 p.m. Monday, a child caller told emergency dispatchers he saw a red pickup truck in the pond.

Child caller: “I believe their car crashed into the lake.”

Dispatcher: “You think a vehicle went into the lake?”

Caller: “Yes, yes, yes. A red truck.”

Some of the audio was inaudible, and the child said, “It’s sinking.”

The dispatcher asked the child to find an adult. The dispatcher asked, “Do you see a vehicle in a lake at all?”

Adult: “No. It’s under.”

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The child later told the dispatcher the boy was safe but said the man and girl were still underwater.

“His son is right here,” the child said. “The man got out but he went back to save his daughter.”

Nate Nutty lives in the complex, a couple hundred feet from the pond. He was walking home from watching the Bengals game at a nearby establishment and saw the crews pull Morance Harrison’s body out of the water.

“There were cops everywhere,” he said, calling the scene “crazy.”

“The dive team was out, and that’s when I knew something definitely was wrong,” he said. “It’s sad. It’s very sad.”

Alex Toms, 17, of Fairfield, has a friend who lives in the complex and also saw the police on the scene Monday night.

“The truck was really far out,” Toms said, “way out in the middle of the pond.”

“He had to be going pretty fast,” Nutty said.

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