SAN RAMON (CBS SF) — The Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office has ruled a 15-year-old’s drowning death at San Ramon Valley High was accidental while he was attending a swimming class, officials confirmed Wednesday.
The body of freshman Benjamin Curry was discovered in the school pool on May 8th. Efforts to revive the teen proved to be unsuccessful.
According to the coroner’s report, surveillance camera video of the pool area showed Curry in the pool at the end of his class while other students exited the water and went to the locker room.
His body was discovered an hour later when the next swim class was set to begin.
Students at San Ramon Valley said rumors quickly spread throughout the school – along with some news reports – about Curry being suicidal; rumors the school never publicly corrected.
Now his parents are working with a lawyer and want to set the record straight, that their son was just going for a swim, not trying to harm himself, and that a terrible accident happened.
“Class was dismissed without him and the teacher in charge of the class left Benjamin behind. The school knew that and didn’t make the effort to correct the false narrative that they knew was out there,” the Curry family’ attorney Andy Schwartz told the East Bay Times. “He was found in his bathing suit. He went swimming. He didn’t commit suicide.”
In a 16-page Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office autopsy and toxicology report, officials said Curry attended his normal fourth period physical education swimming class from 11:40 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Surveillance footage of the pool did not show any other students being involved with Curry going under water, the report said. The cameras angles also did not show how Curry’s drown.
The case still remains under investigation.
Students say they wish the adults at the high school would have let them in on the truth all along. “That was all the information we were given, that a student drowned. We weren’t given his name, that was it,” said former student Olivia Maldonado. “I think it would’ve been nice if the school did update us a little bit on the topic”
“I was a little frustrated they didn’t announce it to us so that we would know,” said student Vanessa Parra.”
San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich told the newspaper she could not comment because it was still an open investigation.
“Our thoughts continue to be with the student’s family and loved ones, as well as our students and staff,” she told the paper.