Boy's death at Transy pool did not involve a diving board, police say

jwarren@herald-leader.com and kward1@herald-leader.comJune 24, 2014 

A 13-year-old boy who died after being found unresponsive Monday evening at a Transylvania University swimming pool drowned, according to the Fayette County Coroner's office.

The boy's name was not released Tuesday, nor was the city where he is from. A release from the coroner's office said that information was being "withheld by request of the family."

The boy was found "unresponsive in the swimming pool" at Transylvania's William T. Young Campus Center at 8:21 p.m.

He was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:55 p.m., "moments after arrival to the emergency department," according to the release.

An autopsy was conducted at the State Medical Examiner's office in Frankfort on Tuesday. The coroner's office said the death is being investigated as an accident.

Initially, there were conflicting reports about what happened.

Emergency units who were called to the pool Monday night were responding to a report of a diving accident.

Major Daniel Bellot of the Lexington Fire Department said the boy was out of the pool when the first emergency crews arrived, and first aid was being administered.

"What we were told is that he apparently hit the diving board," Bellot said.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Tuesday afternoon that officers reviewed a video of the incident, and no diving board was involved.

"We have reviewed the video; we have actually seen the incident, and there was no diving board involved at all," Roberts said.

She said the video shows the incident "very clearly."

Transylvania released a statement just before noon Tuesday saying the student lost consciousness while participating in a recreational swim.

The Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services said it dispatched ambulance crews to Transy at 8:23 p.m. Monday.

Two lifeguards and an assistant university swimming coach applied an automated external defibrillator and performed CPR until emergency crews arrived, Transy officials said in a statement.

Emergency crews arrived at the pool at 8:25 p.m., according to the fire department's dispatch website.

The boy was then transported to UK Hospital. He had no pulse, according to radio scanner traffic.

The student was attending a weeklong residential summer academic camp at Transylvania titled Introduction to Java Programming, the university said.

Monday was the first day of the Java camp, according to Transy spokeswoman Sallie Showalter. It was one of two academic camps at Transy this week.

Showalter said camp participants had completed the academic part of their day and were having a recreational swim. Thirteen campers were in the pool at the time, she said Monday night.

Transylvania President R. Owen Williams issued a statement Tuesday offering condolences to the student's family.

"In the midst of these tragic circumstances, our hearts go out to this young student's family and friends, as well as the other students on our campus affected by this incident," Williams said.

The Java camp, and a College Preparation camp being held at Transy this week, have been cancelled, according to the university. Participating students have contacted their parents, who are making arrangements to pick up their children, Transy officials said.

Session 3 swim lessons, scheduled through July 2, also have been cancelled at Transy, and the university pool will remain closed until further notice, officials said.

The university said officials are gathering information and will release details as they become available.

Jim Warren (859) 231-3255. Twitter: @hlpublicsafety

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