Family wants to know if more could have been done to prevent drowning

5-year-old Jacksonville boy who drowned in wave pool to be laid to rest Friday

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the family of the 5-year-old Jacksonville boy who drowned in a wave pool at Daytona Lagoon water park prepares to bury him, loved ones still question whether more could have been done to prevent his death.

On Wednesday, the I-TEAM spoke with family members of Kaiden Lawson. They said they're focusing on the boy's funeral, which will take place Friday.

His mother previously told the I-TEAM she planned on going to Daytona Lagoon Wednesday to view the surveillance video of the moments that led up to her son's death. She said she wanted to view the surveillance video to see if lifeguards could have done more.

According to a Daytona Beach Police Department report, a family member told police that Kaiden and his older brother were playing in waist-deep water in the wave pool at the Daytona Lagoon attraction early Saturday afternoon when the waves began. The family member said he was standing a few feet back when another child got his attention, "he took off his eyes off the kids that were in the water," and when he looked back up, he only saw one child in the water. The report stated the family member assumed that Kaiden had walked out of the wave pool and into the children's playground area, so he grabbed the other two children and went to look for Kaiden. When he couldn't find him, according to the report, he then walked around the wave pool area and saw a man carrying Kaiden out of the water. 

According to Daytona Beach Fire Rescue records, the boy was reportedly underwater for possibly for four to five minutes, but the amount of time was not certain. 

Police said the witness had been walking around the wave pool when he saw Kaiden face down in the water, jumped into the wave pool, flagged down a lifeguard who helped him take the boy out of the water and then began to perform CPR.

When a Fire Rescue crew arrived just before 1 p.m., lifeguards and bystanders were performing CPR on the boy. Fire Rescue said the boy was unresponsive and had no pulse when first responders took over lifesaving measures.

Kaiden was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said. 

Daytona Lagoon General Manager Tyler Currie told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that there were three lifeguards on duty at the time of the Kaiden's death at the Daytona Lagoon wave pool -- one at the "beach end" and two lifeguards positioned along the wall of the pool. 

Kaiden's mother said she wants to know why they didn't see her son go under.

For now though, the family wants to focus on Kaiden's life and his "bright light." Kaiden will be laid to rest at noon Friday at the Holmes Glover-Solomon Funeral home at 4334 Brentwood Avenue. Visitation will be held an hour before the service. 

As for Daytona Lagoon, officials said this was the first drowning that they've ever had and they currently have no plans to change the number of lifeguards who monitor swimmers or any of their other procedures.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Kaiden's family with funeral expenses.

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