A 6-year-old boy pulled from the deep end of City Pool Tuesday remained in critical condition Wednesday morning at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where he was transferred after the incident.
Caleb Ryan Smith, son of Jeremy Smith and Rochelle Scott, was pulled from the deep end of the pool Tuesday afternoon. CPR was administered before he was taken by ambulance to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. A short while later, he was flown to the Dallas hospital.
“This is unfortunate — horrific for the family and very sad for all of us at City Hall,” City Manager Marc Maxwell said this morning. “Terribly sad’ is the mood that pervades in this place. What happened at the pool was awful.”
The city’s swimming pool has been closed while police investigate the accident, according to Maxwell.
“We’re going to investigate to be able to determine what exactly happened,” he said. “The goal is to see that it doesn’t happen again. The pool will be closed until the police are through investigating to see if anything could have been done differently, if changes in policy are needed.”
Police are in the “fact finding” stage of the investigation, according to Police Chief Jim Bayuk, and consequently have no particular details as to what happened. Police have talked to several witnesses, but still have others to collect information from, Bayuk added.
Caleb Smith was among the children from His Kids Learning Center visiting the pool Tuesday afternoon.
The group, said to be the only ones at the pool at the time, had arrived a short time before the incident. The Learning Center children were undergoing evaluations to assess their swimming abilities and determine which ones would be allowed in the deep end of the pool and which should remain in the shallow end.
Caleb Smith was reportedly one of those designated to sit along the side of the pool to be tested, according to Maxwell.
The swim tests were being conducted by two life guards in the shallow end of the pool. At least three other life guards were on duty, at least one in place at a life guard stand and two elsewhere on the grounds.
A female child was heard screaming near the deep end of the pool. At that time, Caleb Smith was seen underwater in the deep end. Many people tried to reach him before he was pulled from the water, and lifeguards began administering CPR. Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services soon arrived and took Smith to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. Soon after he was flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where he remained Wednesday morning.
“The last we heard he was alive, but as far as his condition, I don’t have anything more specific,” Maxwell said, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which regulates the amount of patient information health care professionals can release to non-family members.
A family friend said Caleb Smith remained in critical but stable condition at the Dallas hospital, where his family awaited the results of tests which should better determine the nature of the injuries he sustained Tuesday.
While it’s not unheard of for children experiencing difficulties to be “pulled” from the pool or told to get out, rescues are very rare, according to the city manager.
In 1988, a child drowned at the pool. In the late 1990s, a child had to be pulled out of the pool, but after CPR was administered, the child was revived and recovered, Maxwell said.
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