Mother of 5-year-old who reportedly drowned in Pulaski County YMCA pool speaks to WFXR News

New River Valley News

PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — A mother is heartbroken after her five-year-old son, Auston Wingo, died after reportedly drowning at the Pulaski County YMCA.

According to the Pulaski Police Department, officers responded to the YMCA at 615 Oakhurst Avenue around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6 for a potential drowning.

Auston was reportedly found unresponsive at the scene, transported to LewisGale Pulaski, and airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He was then pronounced dead shortly after 10:15 p.m. on Monday.

Auston’s mother, Cassandra Gallimore, tells WFXR News that the YMCA is still trying to figure out what happened.

As of this writing, Gallimore says they told her that her son either jumped into the deep end or slipped and fell into the water. Either way, she says she is in disbelief that he is gone.

“I am broken. Like my soul has been ripped out my body, and this is an unbearable feeling,” said Gallimore.

Gallimore says she feels like she is in a dream and cannot wake up from it. Now, all she has are memories of her son.

“He always told me, ‘Tessy let me take a picture with you.’ Then, like just a little thing she would do like when we were in the living room, he would look at me and say ‘Tessy you are the best mommy,'” said Gallimore.

She adds that Auston was a loving child who welcomed everyone with open arms, and he especially loved his brother and sister. Now, she is struggling with how something like this happened, especially considering how many times she’d entrusted them with her son in the past.

“There should have been lifeguards watching every kid. You should see a kid fall in the pool,” Gallimore said. “The thing is, they said that there were a bunch of kids that day. Well, if there were a bunch of kids, then you should have more people with them.”

In a statement to WFXR News, the CEO of the Pulaski County YMCA, Jessie Woods, says that once lifeguards saw Auston unresponsive in the pool, they immediately performed CPR.

According to Woods, the YMCA is cooperating with investigators and are planning to have their own internal review to figure out exactly what happened, as well as ensure they implement steps to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

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