GASTONIA, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - There are new details in the near drowning of a three-year-old boy at a Gastonia motel.
Days Inn Manager Hitendra Raja says they are not planning to make any changes to pool rules at the motel on North Chester St. after the toddler nearly drowned Wednesday afternoon. He says all the signs required under North Carolina law are posted and parents have to be responsible.
“A young kid was drowning in the pool. It was a split second, it happened so fast, it wasn’t nobody’s fault, it wasn’t nothing about bad parenting,” said Corey Bennett who saved the boy’s life.
Raja told FOX 46, “it’s a miracle the child is still alive.”
He said surveillance video showed the boy in the water on a float for three to four minutes alone, while his mother sat on the pool deck. The float then flipped over in five feet and no one noticed. Two and a half minutes later, he said, the mother looked around for the child, jumped in and pulled him out of the pool.
“When I first see him, his lips were purple,” said Bennett.
Witnesses say the child wasn’t breathing. Bennett saw what was happening from his room and ran to administer CPR.
“As soon as I started doing CPR I wasn’t stopping and I said I wasn’t stopping until he started breathing.” The child was breathing and conscious by the time the paramedics arrived.
Gastonia Police are investigating the incident and said the Department of Social Services was contacted. The Gastonia Health Department was also notified and inspected the pool.
Raja said the motel was cleared because all the signs required under state law were posted including: No life guard on duty, children must be accompanied by adults, and another that said children should not use the swimming pool without supervision.
Raja said he called the family and was told the child is still in the hospital but he’s okay.
There is still no word on whether the child’s mother will face charges.