A 15-year-old high school student in Indiana drowned in the middle of gym class this week despite both a lifeguard and instructor being present.
Family members identified the student as Alaina Dildine in a GoFundMe set up to cover funeral expenses, which lamented that “the community will never know the enormity of this loss of this special angel.”
Dildine had been swimming laps with her PE class at Whiteland Community High School on Tuesday when she suddenly went under the water, the school district said.
It was not clear how long she remained underwater before being pulled out, but Patrick Spray, superintendent at Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation, said at a Wednesday press conference that a lifeguard and instructor were on the pool deck at the time.
The school district initially said she had suffered a “medical emergency,” but the official cause of death has not yet been determined and will not be revealed until toxicology results come in, the Johnson County Coroner’s Office said.
“Despite the efforts of our staff and emergency responders, the student has passed away,” the school district said in a statement. “The specific cause and circumstances surrounding this tragedy are not yet known, and a thorough investigation will take place.”
“This young lady was such a beautiful human, who loved her family, friends, her community, art, animals, and band,” Spray said.
Her death has left classmates at the high school reeling and the community grappling with how such a tragedy could occur while she was under supervision.
A friend of Dildine’s tearfully told local outlet WRTV that she had been in the pool right before the incident.
“Sometimes I would look left, just to look at the water or whatever. Yesterday I didn’t. I didn’t look and sometimes I think maybe something could’ve changed if I had saw her or something. If I just looked to the left. I didn’t this time,” she said.
“I don’t know the full story, but it’s just, you know, disappointing in some ways,” another student told Fox 59.
The Johnson County sheriff is leading an investigation into Dildine’s death.