A tragic incident at a YMCA in Virginia has resulted in a $20 million lawsuit against the facility. Five-year-old Auston Wingo Jr. drowned in the YMCA’s pool during daycare on December 6, 2021.
According to local news stations WSET and WSLS, paramedics were called to the YMCA of Pulaski County after Wingo Jr. was found unresponsive in the pool. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.
The family of the young boy has filed a complaint against the YMCA of Pulaski County, alleging that the facility had only one lifeguard on duty to watch over 38 children who entered the pool at the same time. The complaint also stated that Wingo Jr. was not given a floatie or a swim test before entering the deeper side of the pool.
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Per The Kansas City Star, the complaint further alleged that three daycare staffers were not properly stationed on the pool deck to supervise all the children, and therefore did not notice when Wingo Jr. began to struggle and ultimately drowned in 8 feet of water.
Attorneys for Wingo Jr.’s family, Dirk Padgett and Steve Baker, released a statement saying that the young boy was “ignored, unattended, forgotten, and neglected” and drowned due to the YMCA employees’ “gross negligence”.
“This little boy will never experience a full life, and someone has to be held accountable for the dangerous conditions that led to his death,” the attorneys said.
In response, Pulaski County YMCA CEO Dave Adkins stated that the YMCA takes all allegations seriously and is cooperating with the legal process. However, he declined to comment further on the pending litigation.
This tragic incident highlights the importance of proper supervision and safety measures in recreational facilities, especially when it comes to caring for young children. The community is mourning the loss of Wingo Jr. and demanding justice for his untimely death.