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Posted on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Officials: Trenton teenager Nathan Tracy accidentally drowned in Pittsfield Township retention pond

By Kyle Feldscher

A comment from Public Safety Director Matt Harshberger has been added.

Almost five months after his death, Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's Office officials said Nathan Tracy accidentally drowned in early September.

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Nathan Tracy

Tracy, 19, was discovered dead in a retention pond Sept. 8 at the Weatherstone Condominiums after a multiple-day search in Pittsfield Township. He was last seen at 11:30 p.m. Sept. 5 after crashing his Ford Focus into a parked truck near Ranchero Drive near Oak Valley Drive.

Tracy spoke with a bystander before walking away from the crash, police said. That was the last time he was seen alive.

The ruling from the medical examiner’s office wraps up the police investigation. Police said there is no criminal investigation into Tracy’s death and the case has been reviewed by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

John McNally, an attorney representing Tracy’s family, was not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Tracy was reportedly visiting friends in Ann Arbor before the crash. A search took place in the ensuing days involving dozens of volunteers, a Michigan State Police helicopter and police dogs, along with many investigators.

A maintenance worker at the Weatherstone Condominiums eventually found his body just after 10:30 a.m. Sept. 8. Investigators confirmed Tracy’s identity in the days following the discovery through dental records.

At least two toxicology reports have been ordered, but the results have not been made public.

Pittsfield Township Public Safety Director Matt Harshberger said Tracy did not suffer any major injuries in the crash.

"There were no significant injuries,” he said. “There were minor things that go along with a crash of that type, but noting that would have contributed to his drowning. As far as I can tell, there was no connection with the crash itself and the drowning.

Harshberger said around the time of the crash there was evidence Tracy was intoxicated. The nature of that evidence has not been released to the public.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

That Ford Focus he was driving was 2/3rds of its original size after he crashed into the parking structure and parked cars. If I recall the news correctly, he was an athlete, so I can't imagine that under normal circumstances he would accidentally drown in a shallow apartment complex pond. This is such a strange story.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

"There were minor things that go along with a crash of that type, but noting" - little typo: should be "nothing" here.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 12:47 a.m.

"Harshberger around the time of the crash there was evidence Tracy was intoxicated at the time of the crash." ~~~ I don't understand. What did Harshberger do? Did he say it? Write it down? Fax it? Draw a diagram? Proofreading is SO important.

Julie Baker

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Thanks, the word said was inadvertently removed.

Laura Jones

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

Just sad for everyone. 19 is too young to die.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

This story is so tragic.

Frank Lee

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Tragic and bizarre. Since the police have wrapped up their investigation and there is no criminal investigation into Tracy's death, wouldn't the evidence that Tracy was intoxicated at the time of the crash be available under the Freedom of Information Act? Two toxicology reports with the results remaining private only adds fuel to the evidence of intoxication. Should this young man have been under the influence of intoxicants, (possibly those that raise your body core temp to the point of taking an impromptu swim) those actions should be made public in an effort to inform society of the dangers of using these intoxicants.

Georgia Luke

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

I completely agree with Frank Lee. I live in this complex and am concerned with a 19 y.o. drowning without explanation. Typically this complex is quite without a lot of parties. This past start of the school was different with parties happening in the driveways. If he had been drinking, who providing the alcohol and should they be held responsible? Pittsfield Twp. police could make some money patrolling Ranchero Dr. from Oak Valley @the clubhouse to the other end where it lets out to Ellsworth. From 4pm throughout the night it is like a dragstrip in the warmer months. I feel so bad for the family but I also feel the Freedom of Information act should provide this information. There was an ATF raid here in June or July of 2010 and no information was released on that incident either.

music to my ear

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 3:52 a.m.

@ gonavy I hear you loud and clear , on fox 2 news and wdiv channel 4 website you can say whatever


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Pssst Frank this is - "no speculation allowed." You're going to make yourself a target for thought moderation.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Well, that's that. The dangers of walking around late at night, regardless of one's state. I feel badly for the family though, who has to live with this for the rest of their lives.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

@dansinginginmysole - Please do share these facts. The only facts I have in my possession are courtesy of I don't want to speculate on anything that happened to the young Mr. Tracy - except that we know that he was on foot, late at night, when he apparently drowned.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Wow. Get your facts right before you go spewing vitriolic nonsense. No one wants to read it.