A Georgia swim instructor will not face criminal charges after a 4-year-old boy drowned during a swim lesson, but his family is still searching for answers, NBC News reports.
On June 14, Israel “Izzy” Scott was attending his second day of group swimming lessons in Hephzibah, Georgia when he was spotted in the bottom of the pool. The instructor dove into the pool to retrieve Izzy, who had gone limp, and another parent who is a nurse performed CPR until medics arrived.
Izzy was rushed to a local hospital and then to a children’s medical center. He was pronounced dead the following day.
In an interview with police, the instructor said she instructed the students to pick up rings from the bottom of the pool and then swim a lap as a group, according to NBC News. She then left the pool when she thought all the kids were out.
The instructor told investigators that she last saw Izzy during ring exercise and then later saw him play in chest-rushing water.
About nine other children were at the lesson, ages 4 to 10.
An autopsy determined that Izzy died of accidental drowning, and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office determined that no criminal charges would be filed, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
“While there may have been some form of negligence, the case was determined to lack sufficient evidence to prove criminal negligence,” a press release from the sheriff’s office said, according to NBC News. “As a result, we cannot move forward on this matter. Our findings have been forwarded to the district attorney for further review.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family, said no legal action has been taken, but they are working to gather facts and will “later make a decision for the family”, according to NBC News.
“We don’t have a concrete account of what happened,” Merritt told NBC News.
There is evidence that Izzy was left for about 10 minutes with no one watching him, Merritt told ABC 6.
The family said they did not receive an adequate explanation from the instructor, although the instructor sent a condolence card and issued a refund for the course.
The boy’s mother, Dori Scott, called the refund a “slap in the face”, NBC News reports.
In an interview with NBC News, Dori recalled the harrowing experience of that day. She had been told that the parents could not stay to watch the swimming lessons as it distracted the children, so she waited in the car until the lesson was over.
As Dori waited for the end of the second lesson, a parent knocked on her car window and said “come see your baby,” according to NBC News.
“I immediately lost it because I saw it in his eyes,” Dori told NBC News. “It was like a dream…a mother’s worst nightmare.
“I miss him. It’s hard to know I’ll never see Izzy again.
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