7-year-old drowns at Cottonwood Heights Rec. Center

By Ali Monsen

Published 07/06 2014 10:10PM

Updated 07/07 2014 12:37PM

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A family is mourning the loss of their son, Sunday, after the seven year-old drowned at Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center.

It is a parent’s worst nightmare.  One father started the afternoon swimming with his son.  Soon, the sunny day at the pool took a dramatic, painful plunge.

"The boy's father—he came around the pool just ready to say, 'Hey, how's it going?' and just at that moment, they started to pull him out of the pool.  The father just started immediately screaming.  He just kept screaming the boy's name," said Dan Dougherty, an eyewitness.  

Several lifeguards immediately began performing CPR.

"It was dead silent.  You could hear everything.  You could hear them telling the son's father, 'We're trained, we got this under control,’” said Sam Mismash, another eyewitness. 

But the young boy would not wake up.  Lifeguards continued their revival efforts for what some say seemed like an eternity. 

"I had enough time to get in my truck, drive over here—there's a sheriff's thing over there—pull in the driveway, and honk, before anybody got here,” explained Mismash.

Cottonwood Heights Police say their response time was somewhere around 2 minutes. 

“I don't have the exact time with that, and I wouldn't comment on fire's response time," clarified Sgt. Corbett Ford with the Cottonwood Heights Police Dept. 

Regardless, everyone involved says they followed protocol and did everything possible to save the child. 

"You know, I get emotional, but our hearts go out to the family.  No one deserves to go through this.  This young family who has lost a child doesn't deserve to go through it.  These guards that witnessed it don't deserve to go through it.  It's just a horrible situation,” said Mike Peterson, Director of Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. 

One way the rec. center will deal with this traumatic event is through counseling services for all their life guards.  They say they'll start that process, probably Monday. 

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