UNION — The apparent drowning of a child in the Union County YMCA swimming pool Wednesday afternoon is being investigated by both local and state law enforcement agencies.
In a statement released Wednesday evening, Union County Coroner William Holcombe announced that his office, the Union Public Safety Department and the SLED Child Fatality Division are “investigating the death of a juvenile found unresponsive at the Union County YMCA after an apparent drowning.”
Holcombe said that an autopsy on the child’s body will be performed at Newberry Pathology Associates. He added that more information would be released as it becomes available.
When contacted by The Union Daily Times Thursday morning, Holcombe identified the child as Miracle Smith. He said she was seven years old at the time of her death.
The Union Public Safety Department also released a statement about the incident Wednesday evening, stating that it “occurred at approximately 2:40 p.m. A juvenile victim was pulled from the water and lifeguards on duty began performing CPR.”
It states that “Union County EMS arrived on scene and also began administering medical treatment. The victim was then transported to Wallace Thomson Emergency Department. Attempts to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful, and the victim was pronounced dead at Wallace Thomson.”
The press release states that the child was at the pool with a group from the Union Housing Authority.
While the incident is still under investigation, the department states that “there is no indication of foul play at this time.”
The press release also states that “The Union Public Safety Department would like to express its deepest condolences to the family and all involved.”
YMCA Director Scott Sandor issued the following statement about the incident.
“There was an aquatics emergency at the Union County YMCA swimming pool on Wednesday, July 22 involving a 7 year-old-girl visiting with the Union Housing Authority,” Sandor said. “Lifeguard staff immediately provided care and 911 was called. The girl was transported to the hospital, and tragically passed away.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to this young girl and her family and friends,” he said. “We are sure you will join us in respecting their privacy during this difficult time.”
Scott also said the YMCA is cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation of the incident and is conducting its own investigation.
“The Union County YMCA was established in 1987 and has a long history of providing a safe environment for our members and the community to enjoy. We are constantly reviewing our policies and procedures in an effort to improve safety. It’s important for you to know that, as is our custom, we will investigate the incident immediately. Further, we are cooperating with the local authorities in their investigation. Based on the outcome of the investigation(s), we will further examine our procedures and act accordingly.”
Smith was a student at Foster Park Elementary School who would have been in the second grade in the new school year.
FPES is holding a “Benefit for the family of Miracle Smith” this Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the school cafeteria. A flyer issued by the school publicizing the event states that all funds raised will be used to help Smith’s family with funeral expenses.
The fundraiser will be a hot dog and bake sale with hot dogs costing $1.50, chips 50 cents, and drinks 50 cents. Hot dog plates consisting of two hot dogs, chips and a drink will also be on sale for $4.
The bake sale portion of the fundraiser will involve baked goods for sale for the prices marked.
Miracle Smith Fund
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Jennifer Roark, Grade Chair and Second Grade Teacher at Foster Park Elementary, announced that everyone is encourage to wear pink on Saturday in memory of Miracle Smith.
Roark also announced that an account has been set up at Arthur State Bank and that persons wanting to help Smith’s family should make checks payable to the Miracle Smith Fund. She said that all monies will be used to help Smith’s family with funeral expenses.
FPES Cafeteria Manager Gail Hubbard is spearheading the school’s efforts to help Smith’s family according to Roark who thanked her and all the others who are coming together to help the school help the Smith family.
“The Foster Park Elementary School family would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support that we’ve already received.”
The swimming pool at the Union County YMCA was closed Thursday following the death of Miracle Smith who apparently drowned in the pool Wednesday afternoon. Smith, 7, was at the pool with a group from the Union Housing Authority. Her death is still under investigation by local and state law enforcement. Smith’s school, Foster Park Elementary School, will hold a fundraiser this Saturday with all proceeds going to help her family with funeral expenses.
This sign lets those arriving at the Union County YMCA on Thursday know that its pool is closed for the day. The pool was closed Thursday in response to the death of Miracle Smith who apparently drowned in the pool Wednesday afternoon. Smith, 7, was found unresponsive in the pool by lifeguards who pulled her from the water and gave her CPR. Despite the efforts of the lifeguards and Union County EMS personnel who responded to the scene, the child was pronounced dead in the emergency room of Wallace Thomson Hospital. Smith’s death is still under investigation by local and state law enforcement. Her school, Foster Park Elementary School, will hold a fundraiser this Saturday with all proceeds going to help Smith’s family with funeral expenses.
Miracle Smith, 7, died Wednesday afternoon, apparently as a result of drowning in the Union County YMCA swimming pool. Smith was at the pool Wednesday as part of a group from the Union Housing Authority. Her death is being investigated by local and state law enforcement. Smith’s school, Foster Park Elementary School, will hold a fundraiser this Saturday with all proceeds going to help her family with funeral expenses. This photo of Miracle Smith is taken from a flyer issued by the school publicizing the fundraiser.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.