YMCA pools close after 9-year-old drowns - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

YMCA pools close after 9-year-old drowns

Lonnie Smith, drowning victim Lonnie Smith, drowning victim

All pools at local YMCA facilities were closed on Thursday, this comes on the heels of a nine-year-old who drowned in Euclid.

Sonya Smith has lost her only child. "He was my best friend. He was my light," she said.

"He was a sweetheart. We all loved him. He was a joy, always happy," said the victim's aunt, Sherrie Akins.

Nine-year-old Lonnie Smith was at the Euclid YMCA with a group from Always Available Daycare. He was pulled from the bottom of the pool by one of three lifeguards on duty and the staff there are devastated.

"Quite honestly they're having a very difficult time. We never want to lose a child. We take that responsibility very, very seriously," said YMCA Rep Rick Haase.

Haase says they've brought in a water safety expert and are conducting an internal investigation to help police determine what happened to Lonnie. And their aquatics team is looking into possible changes in the wake of the tragedy.

"We are meeting with them to reiterate all our policies and procedures so they're followed to the letter so that this kind of thing never happens again," Haase said. 

But it's already too late for Lonnie.

"I have my ups and downs. Some moments are good. Some moments aren't. But with the help of family and friends and The Lord, we'll get through," said Smith. 

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