8-Year-Old Girl Who Drowned Is Identified

Loudoun County officials have identified an 8-year-old Sterling girl who drowned in a neighbor's swimming pool Sunday afternoon as Kendyl A. Nelson.

Kendyl and three other children were playing in the pool in the 100 block of Tamarack Court shortly after 4 p.m. when an adult who was watching them went inside the house to answer the phone, according to sheriff's spokesman Deputy Doug Taylor.

While the adult was inside, an 11-year-old boy who was swimming noticed Kendyl floating face down in the deep end and thought she was "playing around," Taylor said. When the boy swam over to her and found her unresponsive, he called for help. The 11-year-old and a 16-year-old boy who was also in the pool pulled Kendyl out of the water, police said. A nurse who lives across the street tried to revive the girl, and another neighbor called for an ambulance, police and rescue officials said. Kendyl was taken to Loudoun Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Sheriff's officials said their investigation is continuing.

Lightning Sparks Fire; Home Destroyed

A Sterling house was destroyed by fire after lightning struck a nearby tree during Sunday night's severe thunderstorms, Loudoun fire officials said. No one was injured.

The fire broke out shortly before 10:30 p.m. at 632 W. Church Rd., according to Mary Maguire, a spokeswoman for Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Services. Firefighters, who were called by a neighbor, found much of the house in flames when they arrived.

Maguire said the fire started after lightning struck a nearby tree and traveled to the porch. "It just ripped the bark off the tree," Maguire said.

The first rescuers to arrive immediately began searching for an elderly woman who was believed to be inside, but their efforts were quickly thwarted by collapsing floors and ceilings, Maguire said. Moments after firefighters came out of the house, they learned that the woman who lived there, Virgie Ramsburg, 76, is staying at a long-term care facility.

Investigators said the fire caused about $100,000 in damage.

Authorities said the storm also contributed to minor damage throughout the county, including downed power lines and branches.

Three Teens Injured in Car Accident

A 16-year-old driver and his two teenage passengers were injured Sunday when they struck a tractor-trailer on the Route 15 Bypass in Leesburg, Virginia State Police said.

The driver, James Poole, of Sterling, was driving a 1996 Ford pickup north on Route 15 shortly before 5 p.m. when he failed to stop for a flashing red light and stop sign and entered the bypass, said police spokesman Sgt. Tom Martin. The pickup hit the side of a tractor-trailer.

Poole and one of his passengers, John Dale, 17, were treated at Loudoun Hospital Center and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. Another passenger in the pickup, Nicholas Harrison, 15, was treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital and released Monday, hospital officials said. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Willie Cooley, 39, of Mineral, was not injured, Martin said.

Poole has been charged with reckless driving, police said.

Reservoir Drowning Victim Identified

Loudoun officials have identified a man who drowned last week in Beaver Dam Creek Reservoir as Alex Castillo-Membreno, of Leesburg.

Castillo-Membreno, 22, was spending the day July 19 with friends at the reservoir near Ashburn when he slipped under water. Rescuers who arrived minutes after friends called for help were unsuccessful in their search.

Castillo-Membreno's body was recovered July 21.