UPDATE: Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney to help with 5-year-old’s possible drowning death investigation in Pulaski

New River Valley News

UPDATE 9:52 a.m. (12/8/21): Due to a personal and financial relationship between the Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney and a Pulaski County YMCA — where a boy was found unresponsive after a report of a possible drowning Monday — the Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney will be involved in the investigation into the child’s death.

The Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Justin Griffith, told WFXR News on Wednesday, Dec. 8 that the Pulaski YMCA provides childcare for a member of his immediate family. As a result, Griffith’s office has been recused from the investigation by a court order.

Griffith says the Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney will be working alongside the Pulaski Police Department by providing legal advice during the course of the investigation.


UPDATE 4:14 p.m.: The YMCA has released a statement on the death of a 5-year-old boy from Pulaski after a report of a possible drowning on Monday.

A spokesperson with the YMCA tells WFXR News a lifeguard and YMCA staff ran to rescue the boy — Auston Wingo — after he was found unresponsive in a swimming pool at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6. The staff began CPR and called 911, according to the statement released.

“We were heartbroken to learn that the child passed away last night at the hospital. Everyone at the YMCA of Pulaski County is deeply saddened by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with this young boy and his family and friends. We are preparing to have counselors available to staff and participants to help process this tragedy.

Making sure all children and adults are safe in and around water is a top priority. In addition to cooperating with external investigators, we will conduct an internal review to learn the facts about what happened and to ensure our water safety policies align with best-in-class practices and procedures.”

Jessie Woods, CEO, YMCA of Pulaski County

UPDATE 2:27 p.m.: WFXR News is learning about the 5-year-old boy who died Monday night following a report of a possible drowning at a YMCA also attended Critzer Elementary School in Pulaski.

School officials say that the boy — Auston Wingo — was a kindergartener at the school.

“Auston was a kindhearted kid who exhibited unshakable optimism and an incredible love for his family, especially his older sister Tatyana,” Pulaski County Public Schools wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, Dec. 7. “He will be missed far beyond what words can convey.”

Both the school district and Critzer Elementary School made extra staff and counselors available for students Tuesday morning.

“We ask that you keep the family and friends of this student in your thoughts and prayers as they begin to process this terrible tragedy,” Pulaski County Public Schools stated.

School officials have put together a memorial fund for Auston to help the family with expenses during this time. If you would like to donate to the fund, you can through the School Cash online by clicking here.


PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — A police investigation is underway after a child died Monday night following a report of a possible drowning at a YMCA in Pulaski.

The Pulaski Police Department says officers — along with members of the Pulaski Fire Department and the Pulaski County Department of Public Safety — responded to the YMCA at 615 Oakhurst Avenue around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6 for a potential drowning.

When police arrived at the scene, they reportedly found a five-year-old child who was unresponsive. The child was transported to LewisGale Pulaski before being airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, according to the department.

Police say the child was pronounced dead at approximately 10:16 p.m. on Monday.

As of this writing, authorities say they are still investigating the incident.

For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on [Apple] and [Android]

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form