14-year-old boy drowns at McKinley Park pool

A 14-year-old boy drowned Friday at a McKinley Park pool.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, the drowning occurred around 3:00 p.m. at a pool located at 2210 Pershing.

chi-fire-officials-boy-drowns-in-mckinley-park-001Christopher Bowen of the 3700 block of South Rockwell Avenue was transported to Mt. Sinai where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

14-year-old Christopher Bowen drowned this afternoon at a park district pool.  His family describes him as a “strong swimmer.” So what went wrong?

Family members describe Christopher as a strong swimmer.  They say he went to the McKinley Park pool on the southwest side almost every day over the summer to cool off.

Sherry Hedge, Christopher’s aunt, said “He would go to the pool all the time and swim on a daily basis, as we all did in this neighborhood that was our park hangout.”

Three o’clock this afternoon Christopher was swimming with his friends when one of them noticed he hadn’t resurfaced.  The boy who first found him asked not to be identified.

“I was with the goggles and I saw him not moving, so I touch him, he doesn’t move, so I come. He’s drowning! And the lifeguard is just sitting there not doing anything.”

According to his friend, the lifeguard who was closest ignored cries for help and didn’t jump into action until others pushed the boy to the surface.

“So then we push him up and lifeguard is still sitting there. Then the lifeguard, then he tells the police that he pulled him out, and he was lying.”

Tonight, the Chicago Park District isn’t saying much– only releasing a statement that reads:

“The loss of this young life is a tragedy.  The Chicago Park District is investigating the circumstances behind this incident.  Christopher Bowen’s friends and family want answers as soon as possible.”

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