Family of 5-Year-Old Boy Who Drowned in Daycare Pool Sues Virginia YMCA for $20 Million

A Virginia YMCA is facing a $20 million lawsuit after a 5-year-old boy allegedly drowned in a YMCA pool during kindergarten.

Paramedics were called to the Pulaski County YMCA for a possible drowning situation after Auston Wingo Jr., 5, was found unresponsive in a pool on Dec. 6, 2021, according to local Pulaski, Virginia, news stations WSET and WSLS. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

The boy’s family filed a complaint against the Pulaski County YMCA that claimed the facility had only one lifeguard on duty to watch over 38 children who entered the pool at once, and Wingo Jr. he didn’t get a float or a swim test to see if he could get into the deeper side of the pool, according to The Kansas City Star.

The complaint alleged, according to the outlet and WBDJ, that he “lost his grip on the edge of the pool and began to struggle” and was “frantically fighting for his life” before drowning in 8 feet of water.

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The complaint, obtained by WBDJ, also alleges that three other daycare workers who were babysitting the children, in addition to the lifeguard, “were not properly positioned on the pool deck” to “supervise all children in the pool.” Therefore, neither they nor the rescuer noticed that Wingo Jr. drowned until two other children found him “floating face down” towards the deep end of the pool.

The filing also states that when Wingo Jr. taken to the hospital, it was discovered that one of his lungs was “completely full of water,” according to WBDJ.

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Attorneys representing Wing Jr.’s family, Dirk Padgett and Steve Baker, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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However, attorneys released a statement obtained by WSLS saying the 5-year-old boy was “neglected, unsupervised, forgotten and neglected” and drowned “at the depth of the pool” because of a YMCA employee. ‘ “gross negligence.”

“We know how important recreation centers like the YMCA can be in communities, and we understand what the YMCA means to that community,” they said in a statement, according to the release. “However, when the extremely dangerous conditions and circumstances that existed in December 2021 when Auston Wingo died are allowed to continue, someone must be held accountable.”

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“Society demands responsibility for this little boy who will never live a full life,” the lawyers added.

Pulaski County YMCA Executive Director Dave Adkins told McClatchy News in a statement, per The Kansas City Starthat “while we cannot comment on pending litigation, Y takes all allegations of abuse very seriously and is cooperating fully in all aspects of the legal process.”

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Source: HIS Education

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