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June 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Student pulled from Lake Stevens High pool has died

The student who was pulled unconscious from the bottom of a swimming pool at Lake Stevens High School on May 31 has died.

Fedrick Nifasha, 20, died yesterday afternoon at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett after he was removed from life-support, his family announced today.

“Fedrick’s mother and father wanted me to extend their thanks for the outpouring of sympathy and offers of assistance that the community has so been so quick to offer,” attorney Sim Osborn, who is representing Nifasha’s family, wrote in a news release. “No parent should have to suffer the anguish of burying a child, and the lengths that Fedrick’s parents have gone to give their children a better life makes this even more heartbreaking.”

According to the Lake Stevens School District website, students were getting into the pool at the beginning of a swim session on May 31 when a teacher noticed Nifasha was missing. The aquatics manager, a certified lifeguard, pulled Nifasha from the water and began life-saving efforts until medics arrived and took over.

Osborn said Nifasha had been in a coma ever since.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Fedrick’s family,” said Jayme Taylor, school district spokeswoman. “We are deeply saddened by this loss, and thank the community members who have lent their support to Fedrick’s family and our students and staff members during this extremely difficult time.”

Nifahsa was enrolled in the district’s Transition Program, a work-based learning program for students between the ages of 18-21 with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

According to Osborn, Nifasha’s family wants to know why he was allowed to participate in a school-sanctioned swim outing.

“Fedrick was a special-needs student who could not swim, something his program knew,”  Osborn said. “What makes this even more distressing is that Fedrick had very limited English language skills, making him more dependent on those charged with caring for him.”

Osborn said Nifasha’s family immigrated to the U.S. after spending years in a refugee camp in Tanzania, fleeing violence in their native Burundi.

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: accident, drowning, Lake Stevens High School

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