Teen critical after nearly drowning at Murrieta school pool party

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Alex Pierce, 13, was on life support after nearly drowning at a pool party at Vista Murrieta High School. (KABC)

An end of the year band and choir pool party at Vista Murrieta High School turned tragic as a boy in the 7th grade nearly drowned.

Alex Pierce, 13, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after he was spotted at the bottom of the pool on Friday.

"People were saying, 'Help someone is drowning. We need help,'" 7th grade student Abby White recalled.

Alex, who attends Dorothy McElhinney Middle School, was one of the 100 students attending the party when his classmate Rylie Spivey heard the calls for help.

"I dove my head under just to see if they were actually lying and that's when I saw Alex," Rylie said. "I dove down there as quickly as I could. I tapped his arm check to see if he was responding when he wasn't I grabbed him."

Rylie couldn't pull Alex up by herself, so classmate Brian Bonus came to her aid.

"She was starting to pull him up, so I went down and started helping her pull him up and we pulled him to the surface," Brian explained.

Police said surveillance video showed Alex floating to the deep end and it appeared he was unable to get his footing.

Alex was under the water for more than a minute and a half before his classmates pulled him to the surface, according to officials.

It took four minutes for paramedics to arrive at the scene and start performing CPR, police stated.

Parents told ABC7 they signed permission slips that stated lifeguards would be on duty during the pool party.

"We trust our children to be in the hands of competent adults," parent Victoria Bonus said.

Investigators said the lifeguards on duty were certified to give CPR, but the fire department told ABC7 that CPR had not been performed before they arrived.

Alex was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center where he remains on life support. His family setup a GoFundMe account to help deal with medical expenses.

The pool was closed as the Murrieta Police Department investigates the incident.
Related Topics:
student safetyswimmingpoolMurrietaRiverside County
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