Pennsylvania toddlers, aged 1 and 3, drown in backyard pool while their teenage aunt was looking after them
Hunter Smith, 3, and Hayden Smith, 1, were pulled out of their backyard pool in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, 17 July
Two brothers, aged 1 and 3, lost their lives after drowning in their family pool in Fayette County, Pennsylvania on July 17.
The Uniontown Police responded to the victims' family's call and pulled out the toddlers—Hunter Smith (3), Hayden Smith (1)—from their backyard pool on Whiteman Avenue at 7:20 p.m.
Attempts by emergency personnel to resuscitate the two children en route to Uniontown hospital failed and the toddlers were declared dead on arrival.
The boys’ grandmother, Debbie Smith, 46, who had the custody of the children, told KDKA that the victims were being taken care of by their two teenage relatives at the time of the incident, while she was away at work.
Abbie Smith, the boys' 16-year-old aunt, who had returned from high school band camp, had bathed the toddlers before preparing them for bed.
Reports say Hunter and Hayden somehow found their way out of the house as they climbed up the stairs of the above-ground pool and fell in.
The kids were first noticed in the poll by their grandfather, Franklin Hough, who immediately jumped into the pool to save them.
"Frankie jumped in the pool, clothes and all," Debbie said. "Frankie had him on the table doing CPR."
Abbie said that it was after the toddlers were out of the pool that she became aware of what had happened.
“I ran. I ran. And then I saw Hunter laying on the table," she told TribLive.
As the investigation into the incident continues, the family members of the victims, as well as the neighbors, are sharing fond memories of the deceased toddlers.
Both of them loved watching Spider-Man and Batman and were “curious Georges," said Debbie. "And when you have two boys together, lookout. I mean they were 1 and 3. Curious, very curious.”
While Hayden was nicknamed “Benjamin Button" and celebrated his birthday on September 10, Hunter just enjoyed his Spider-Man themed party on June 3. Both of them loved giving each other hugs.
Virginia Smith, 64, who lives across the street from the family, said that she would often babysit the boys a few times a week.
“The oldest one, yesterday morning before he went to (daycare), I said, ‘Can (I) get a kiss?’ He gave me a kiss, but I never thought that’d be the last time,” she said.
Another neighbor, Sharon Moore, 65, whose granddaughter, Zionna Moore, nine, would go over and play with the boys, also expressed her sorrow. “The little kids would always run up and down the sidewalk,” Sharon was quoted as saying. “I’ll miss their little feet pitter-pattering down the sidewalk. They’d come down on their little scooter and just ride back and forth. Your grandkids are your heart, I’m telling you.”
Hunter and Hayden's family members have set up a GoFundMe page for the burial of the toddlers. The page has already collected $860 of its goal of $1,000.