Family speaks out after boy found at bottom of Manchester High pool
By WFSB Staff
MANCHESTER, CT. (WFSB) -
The father of a student, who was found at the bottom of a high school's pool the day before Thanksgiving, spoke to Eyewitness News Wednesday.
Daniel Ofori-Mintah said the past few days have been an absolute whirlwind, but what has made things harder for his family is that most of the information is coming through the media and not through school and police officials.
On Nov. 21, 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.
"He was a respectful, loving guy, very intelligent guy," said Ofori-Mintah about his son. "A guy I can never forget"
The reason Malvrick's dad brought him and his brothers to Connecticut was so that for the first time in a long time, they could be together as a family.
Malverick's mom had worked in Connecticut for several years. The family was here for just eight months before tragedy struck at the Manchester High pool.
"There was nothing wrong with him, he was a healthy guy," Ofori-Mintah said. "And to see him on the stretcher, the way I saw him, is something I will never forget."
Ofori-Mintah confirmed his stepson had no medical conditions, but he did not know how to swim.
"The swimming was not a bad thing. It's a good thing," Ofori-Mintah said. "It's good that everybody got to know how to swim."
While swim class is a required part of the curriculum at Manchester High School, those students who have trouble swimming are supposed to stay in the shallow end.
"We need a lifeguard, at least two people should be around," Ofori-Mintah said.
Lawyer Carlton 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 previously told Eyewitness News.
The drowning is under investigation by school officials and the police department.
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.
Communication with the school has been scarce, according to Ofori-Mintah
"We're withholding a judgment as to what happened," said Hume Wednesday, who is a legal advisor to Malvrick's family.
While, Ofori-mintah waits for the official word from the school and police, he's tasked with leading his family of a wife and two other sons, 17 and 6, through the darkest time they've ever experienced.
"I'm going through a hell of a time, but I'm managing," Ofori-Mintah said. "I'm trying to encourage them."
A vigil, which was attended by students, teachers and friends, was held inside the school Monday night.
The high school has been working with the family to house the funeral in Connecticut ... the tentative date is set for Dec. 15.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 9:40 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:40:06 GMT
The Connecticut State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at multi million dollar mansion in Ridgefield. Friday night. Few details have been released, but the shooting occured at a mansionMore >
The Connecticut State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at multi million dollar mansion in Ridgefield. Friday night.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:41 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:41:15 GMT
A Message from WFSB Vice President and General Manager, Klarn DePalma: Tonight, Channel 3 Eyewitness News did not broadcast our 5:00 or 5:30 newscasts. We were not able to do so because our buildingMore >
Tonight, Channel 3 Eyewitness News did not broadcast our 5:00 or 5:30 newscasts. We were not able to do so because our building was evacuated after a bomb-threat was made against our station.More >
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-25 14:04:02 GMT
Happy Saturday, Rain is on its way – as expected – but it will not hamper the entire weekend. Early this morning, there will be low clouds, fog and drizzle in many parts of Connecticut. This will haveMore >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:27 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:27:43 GMT
Police in several towns are advising the public to be aware of residential break-ins that have happened when families were out attending a wake or funeral for a loved one. Glastonbury police said thereMore >
Police in several towns are advising the public to be aware of residential break-ins that have happened when families were out attending a wake or funeral for a loved one.More >
Tuesday, May 7 2013 7:00 PM EDT2013-05-07 23:00:58 GMT
In a matter of weeks, millions of periodical Cicadas will invade Connecticut for the first time in 17 years. Every 17 years, millions of Cicadas, which have big red eyes and red-orange wing veins, comeMore >
In a matter of weeks, millions of periodical cicadas will invade Connecticut for the first time in 17 years.More >
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:00 AM EDT2013-05-25 11:00:14 GMT
(RNN) - An active six months is predicted for the 2013 North Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center has called it an "extremely active"More >
An active six months is predicted for the 2013 North Atlantic hurricane season.More >
The Diaguita Indians live in the foothills of the Andes, just downstream from the world's highest gold mine, where for as long as anyone can remember they've drunk straight from the glacier-fed river that...More >
The Diaguita Indians live in the foothills of the Andes, just downstream from the world's highest gold mine, where for as long as anyone can remember they've drunk straight from the glacier-fed river that irrigates...More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:21:13 GMT
The Hartford Police Department is investigating incident involving students at the West Middle School and a cell phone video. The incident is also being investigated by the Connecticut States Attorney'sMore >
The Hartford Police Department is investigating an incident involving students at the West Middle School and a cell phone video.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:33 PM EDT2013-05-23 17:33:26 GMT
Remember the Kmart's "Ship My Pants" ad? Well Kmart isn't finished with their controversial ads. The company launched their latest video about Big Gas Savings on Thursday. It even features the sameMore >
The company launched their latest video about "big gas savings" on Thursday.More >