Child drowns in community pool
HENDRICKS COUNTY - A girl died hours after being pulled from a neighborhood pool near Brownsburg Thursday afternoon.
"She asked me how old I was, I told her I'm nine-years-old. She said she's eight-years-old," said Fevin Zewoldar.
That may be the last time anyone spoke to eight-year-old Aalayah Willis Thursday afternoon.
"Something happened," said Lt. Jim Yetter of the Hendricks County Sheriffs Department. "She went under the water."
But the little girl never came up.
Investigators don't know how long Willis was under water before a 13-year-old girl spotted her on the bottom of the pool between the four- and five-foot marks.
"I just saw my friend carrying her and we were screaming help," said Aubrey Baker.
"Her uncle came and he just went running through the water with his shoes on, picked his niece up and put her on the sidewalk and they started doing CPR," Zewoldar said.
"They tried to save her for approximately an hour before she was pronounced dead at the hospital," Lt. Yetter said.
According to investigators, there were about 50 children in the pool.
Willis didn't live in the Brownsburg neighborhood where the pool is located. Witnesses say the girl was at the pool with family who do live there.
There were no lifeguards on duty and never have been according to the company that manages this pool, only a pool attendant.
"That's the problem. No lifeguard. There's a guy that checks the ID, but it's not a lifeguard," said parent Jack Wright.
A sign posted inside warns about that. According to the pool managers, state law doesn't require a guard for a pool this size.
"Where's the lifeguards? We pay all this money and we don't even have a lifeguard," one patron said.
"All of our residents are informed that it is just a monitor who is on duty," said homeowners association president MaryKay Scott
But people who live in the neighborhood say after what happened Thursday, that has to change.
To protect children, parents should learn the lifeguard rules before allowing their kids in any swimming pool. Children should never swim without adult supervision, those who have not had formal swim lessons should be kept out of deep water and parents should always lay out a set of rules for the pool.
With two serious swimming accidents already this season, it is important for parents to talk to their children now because there is still a very long and very hot summer ahead.