Local News

3-year-old boy drowns in Clayton pool

Posted July 9, 2015
Updated July 10, 2015

— A 3-year-old boy drowned Thursday night while in a Clayton pool.

Authorities responded to the Lionsgate Athletic Club on Middleton Street at about 6 p.m. Paramedics and firefighters performed CPR and other life-saving measures for about an hour before the boy was pronounced dead, authorities said.

“A lot of times it is very silent and very quick,” Johnston County EMS Captain David Dolan said about drownings. “It only takes a second, literally. The best CPR that can be performed is right were we find them instead of an ambulance.”

Lifeguards were present during the time of the drowning, residents said. The pool is open to Lionsgate residents and public who purchase memberships.

Clayton police said they are waiting for a medical examiner's report on the boy's official cause of death.

Scott Hammond, aquatics director for a group of community pools that includes LionsGate, released a statement Friday morning.

“The Lionsgate community is a tightknit family community, and we are heartbroken at this tragedy,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the boy’s family ... The LionsGate pool will be closed on Friday as we join the family in mourning this terrible loss."

No further details have been released.


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  • Lorie Jernigan Jul 10, 2015
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    My heart goes out to the family, life guards, and all emergency personnel

  • Melissa Townsend Jul 10, 2015
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    My condolences to the family and those who knew this little boy. My heart truly goes out to you. Such a tragic loss.

  • Patty MacRae Jul 10, 2015
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    The previous post is spot on and I will second it. It can happen in a moment. Some years ago it happened to me but thankfully without the tragic outcome. My 2 1/2 year old was on the top step of a community pool with his big brother and some other children. The water did not pass their ankles at that point. I picked up a towel, turned away to fold it and put in on a chair. When I turned back (maybe 4 seconds) I did not see my son so I walked the 4 steps over to the pool and saw the shadow of his red swim trunks on the bottom. I jumped in to grab him and the guard came running. He was fine, but it could have been much different. After having children I will not make assumptions about another parent's supervision of their child. 'there but for the grace of God go I' My sincere sympathies to this family.

  • Steven Natalie Perkins Jul 10, 2015
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    That is an absolutely unfair comment. It was an accident. You think the parents or grandparents don't blame themselves this morning?! Kids can get away just as both parents or grandparents look away in an instance. You never had a child get 5 steps from you in a mall? Climb out of a bathtub when you turn to get a towel? That's not negligence, that's life... and it can sometimes move very quickly. Scolding this family with accusations before they bury their child should be unconscionable in a civilized household.

  • Jae'lin Crowder Jul 10, 2015
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    My prayers go out to the family of this angel.I couldn't imagine life without my sons!

  • Melvin Denis Jul 9, 2015
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    A life guard was present, but were the parents present? Sad to see fun turn so tragic.