Crash into Cahaba under investigation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

According to Shelby County Coroner Doug Ballard Jr., Hoover police are investigating the cause of an accident in which two children drowned when the car they were riding in plunged into the Cahaba River Saturday.

Ballard said autopsies were performed at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Tuscaloosa.

He said the first autopsy completed showed death by drowning and he expected the second autopsy to show the same.

He said a 5-year-old girl, identified as Ashlyn Skinner, was still in her seatbelt with the seatbelt still in tact and an 18-month-old, identified as Bryson Skinner, was still in his car restraint seat.

&uot;It was a real sad situation,&uot; Ballard said.

He said Chief Deputy Coroner Kyle McDonnell and Deputy Coroner J. Wilson pronounced the children dead at the scene.

According to media reports, a 2002 BMW sedan plunged into the Cahaba River on Saturday morning.

The children’s mother, Brandee Skinner, 30, was pulled from the river shortly after she said the car veered off U.S. Highway 31 northbound into the river.

Skinner and investigators reported the car dove though brush and down an 80-foot embankment around 10:30 a.m.

Brandee Skinner and her husband, Reagan Skinner, residee on Mountain Laurel Court in Riverchase.

– Fred Guarin