Written By: Taylor Alanis, KXXV
NOLANVILLE – A local family wants the City of Nolanville to take action months after their son died in floods.
Rebecca and Melvin Natal’s son would have been 12 years old on Thursday.
On June 17, Matthew Natal was playing with friends near the detention pond behind his neighborhood when he was swept away by flood waters.
First responders rescued Matthew after he got stuck in a drainage culvert but he passed away in the hospital a day later.
In a press conference of Thursday, the Natal family said the detention pond is a very dangerous area during heavy rainfall.
“There was no warning sign.,” the Natals’ attorney, Josh Davis said. “There was no fence. There was no visible sign that the water was moving at the water velocity rate that it was.”
The Natal’s said the city has not taken measures to protect the public.
“It’s the responsibility of the city and the community to make sure that these areas are labeled dangerous so this is preventable,” Melvin Natal said.
The family is suing the developers of the detention pond, Jubilee Homes Incorporated and Killeen Majestic Homes, for negligence and gross negligence.
The suit claimed the developers did not safely install the drainage system and it did not have a fence or was covered.
It also stated the lack of safety precautions made it a danger to the community and ultimately caused Matthew to drown.
Although the family is not suing the City of Nolanville, they said the city should put up a hazard sign and a fence around detention pond.
Rebecca Natal said the area flooded three more times since her son passed away and she has seen several children play in the same area where Matthew did.
She said she doesn’t want another death to happen before something is done.
“It’s going to rain on Saturday,” Rebecca Natal said. “How much will it rain?….How much rain will it take to come back up and for someone to just walk by at the right spot and the right time? We will be doing this again. We will be saying goodbye to another person.”