A lawsuit in California claims that a football coach overseeing athletes in a school swimming pool was looking at his cell phone and was distracted as a 15-year-old student drowned during a swimming lesson.
Several media outlets reported that the head football coach at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville California, Aaron Becker, was overseeing the swimming lesson. The lesson was part of the physical education class when Ben Curry began struggling as he was treading water. Curry was treading water for nearly four minutes, then began struggling and eventually drowned.
The lawsuit was filed by Curry’s parents, Thomas, and Karen Curry, and is holding not only Becker but also the San Ramon Unified School District responsible for the death of their son. In the lawsuit, Curry’s parents allege that Becker was too distracted on his phone while Curry was struggling and eventually came to his exhaustion. Some more distributing details of the incident include how long it took Becker to notice that Curry had gone underwater while in his sight.
According to the lawsuit, Becker had dismissed the class at the end of the period and didn’t check to make sure that all the students had gotten out of the pool safely. He left the pool area without taking roll and Curry was still underwater. His cell phone and clothing were alongside the pool. Another 56 students had left the pool that day while he was still underwater.
Some have questioned whether his death may be a suicide, but the autopsy report showed that there was no indication he intended to drown himself, and the death was ruled an accident by the coroner. Even though the death was ruled an accident, many say that it could have been a preventable accident. Video footage that is being reviewed by the prosecution shows this. The video shows that Becker was standing on the diving board and looking at his cell phone while he was supposed to be supervising the class. No one knows if Becker was truly distracted that day and if the death could have been prevented, but it’s a question that the Currys want answers to.