Burke County Sheriff’s Office releases report on child’s drowning

Izzy Scott drowned on his second day of swimming lessons in Burke County.
Izzy Scott drowned on his second day of swimming lessons in Burke County.(Contributed)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We have new details about a drowning that claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy on his second day of swimming lessons.

Early Wednesday, News 12 spoke with Merritt as well as Izzy’s parents, Walter and Dori Scott, in an interview.

Hours later, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office released a statement from Sheriff Alfonzo Williams, the original report, and the officer’s investigative notes.

According to the incident report, on June 14, the BCSO and Burke County EMA responded to 113 Deer Run Road, Hephzibah, Ga, in reference to the possible drowning of a child.

Scott was among nine other children attending swimming lessons provided by Lexie Tenhuisen.

Near the end of the lesson, Scott got into the deep water of the pool undetected. Tenhusien’s granddaughter noticed him in the pool and notified Tenhusien. She had just gotten out of the pool with the children to dry off after the last child’s swimming relay, according to officials.

Tenhuisen immediately jumped back into the pool to rescue Scott. That is when a parent, a registered nurse, began CPR and continued until EMA arrived and took over.

The Criminal Investigation Division was also notified and responded to the scene.

Scott was transported by ambulance to the Burke Health. Clarence Belger, the Burke Health Emergency Management Coordinator, stated Scott was in critical condition and needed to go to Children’s Hospital of Augusta Critical Unit. This is where he passed away, according to officials.

The autopsy concluded that Scott`s death was a result of accidental drowning and that no foul play was suspected or indicated in his death.

According to the release, investigators attended the autopsy, interviewed Tenhusien, the children in the class, those who arrived before class, and parents present during the incident.

The swim instructor will not face criminal negligence charges. Investigators determined the case lacks sufficient evidence to prove criminal negligence. As a result, BCSO is not able to move forward with the case, and the findings were sent to the DA for further review.

Sgt. Jonathan Bennett’s investigative notes document each detail with time codes.

At 12:42, Bennett had a recorded interview with Tenhusisen. This is where she shares the last minutes leading up to Scott’s drowning.

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