Family mourns 5-year-old who died in Pulaski County during heartbreaking vigil

New River Valley News

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A heartbreaking tragedy brought dozens together Saturday night to mourn the loss of a young boy in Pulaski County.

On Monday, Dec. 6, officials say five-year-old Auston Wingo was found unresponsive after a report of a possible drowning at the Pulaski County YMCA. He was pronounced dead later that night.

His vigil was held on Saturday, Dec. 11 in Randolph Park as people of all ages, including Wingo’s kindergarten classmates, gathered to say their goodbyes.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

Family members describe this as a terrible dream, saying it feels unreal to lose someone that young. They say it’s especially difficult because it’s the holiday season.

According to Wingo’s older cousin, Julie Hudson, “To think about Christmas and everything else coming up, it’s a little hard.”

Rebecca Isom organized the vigil, saying she did it with grieving kids in mind, who might not be able to attend a funeral just yet.

“Kids have a hard time expressing themselves so it means so much that they can come here,” said Isom.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

Isom is also a former employee of the Pulaski County YMCA, where Wingo was reportedly found unresponsive. She says the news was shocking.

Before leaving the ‘Y’ in November, Isom sometimes looked after Wingo and his two siblings. She can’t help but think about how she could have helped if she had been there.

“If there’s not a lifeguard, they don’t open the pool and there are teachers in there watching the kids when they are swimming,” said Isom.

As the Pulaski County community mourns, family and friends hold on to the five years they had with young Wingo, his giggle, smiles, and big hugs.

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