Fayette County

6-year-old who drowned will ‘definitely ... be missed’ at Veterans Park

‘He loved science and bugs’

Veterans Park Elementary School Principal Molly Dabney shared memories about first-grader Michael Stewart, who drowned last August.
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Veterans Park Elementary School Principal Molly Dabney shared memories about first-grader Michael Stewart, who drowned last August.

Students and employees at Veterans Park Elementary are grieving for first-grader Michael Stewart, who drowned over the weekend.

Stewart, 6, died Saturday night at the University of Kentucky Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Department after he was taken there from the Pinnacle Club House Pool on Southpoint Drive.

Veterans Park principal Molly Dabney said Monday was “a tough day” for those who knew Michael. He had been a kindergartener there last year.

“Michael was a very brilliant child,” Dabney said. “He loved science and bugs. I think that he was loved by so many of his friends and was such an inquisitive student. He is definitely going to be missed by many students and faculty, and the community around Veterans Park.”

Sympathy cards made by Michael’s friends and classmates depicted grasshoppers, ladybugs, butterflies and spiders.

Counselors were on hand Monday to talk with students, Dabney said.

“We started this morning with a faculty meeting to work with our staff on how to talk with students,” she said. “After the staff meeting, the counselors were able to go out into the classrooms and work with the students, especially our first-grade classrooms.”

Parents whose children were in Michael’s class or in an after-school program with him were notified so they could be the first to tell their children of his death, Dabney said.

Lexington police are investigating the death, which appears to be accidental.

The boy was under a relative’s supervision while he was in the pool, said Nathan Billings, a lawyer who represents the Pinnacle Homeowners Association.

“His distress was noticed by several people, including another adult on the lifeguard staff, and they immediately extracted him from the water and began CPR,” Billings said.

The homeowners association contracts with a company to provide lifeguards and other services for the pool, Billings said.

Only residents who pay dues to the Pinnacle Homeowners Association get pool passes, according to the pool’s website.

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