911 tapes from Manchester High School drowning released
By WFSB Staff
MANCHESTER, CT. (WFSB) -
The Manchester Police Department released the 911 recordings after a student was found at the bottom of a high school's pool the day before Thanksgiving.
Malvrick Donkor, 14, had been taking part in a swim class when he was discovered in the deep end. Eyewitness News learned from sources that Malvrick was at the bottom of the deep end for 17 minutes as classmates unknowingly swam above.
Malvrick, who arrived from Ghana, Africa in March, was rushed to Manchester Memorial Hospital where he died. The chief medical examiner's office ruled his death an accidental drowning.
Malvrick's friends said he may not have known how to swim, and while swim class is required, those students are supposed to stay in the shallow end.
Superintendent of Schools Richard Kiesiel would not comment on Malvrick's swimming ability on Monday.
The drowning is under investigation by school officials and the police department.
In the calls, a panicked student tells the dispatcher that a teacher was performing CPR and the student needed "medical attention" right away.
"We've had a student that has drowned in the Manchester pool," the caller states. "We need help right away."
A local lawyer is making a case that the drowning should have never happened.
"Immediately, I said to myself, 'not again,'" said attorney Carlton Hume.
Hume represented the family whose son lost his life in the same way at East Hartford High School in January and now, he's been talking to the Donkor family and said the breakdown comes at the state level.
"It's a wake-up call for state officials to start looking at water safety in public pools in Connecticut," Hume said.
Eyewitness News reached out to the Connecticut Department of Education and found all physical education teachers are required to pass an aquatics course, basically the same as a lifeguard would.
But they couldn't specify how many pool hours are needed for certification.
Hume wants to know if teachers should double as lifeguards.
"That's a question that's going to need to be answered. The state of Connecticut will have to start looking at that," he said. "After seeing all of these deaths, I think it's telling us it's probably not something the teacher is able to do."
Since the incident, the Manchester High School swimming teacher is on indefinite paid administrative leave. He has not been charged with any crimes in this incident.
The pool has been closed until further notice.
A vigil, which was attended by students, teachers and friends, was held inside the school Monday night.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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