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November 12, 2013

East Detroit student dies following pool accident

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

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East Detroit High School swim coach Kirsten Trub-Sheikh and a group of swim team members show their solidarity with KeAir Swift and his family during the East Detroit Board of Education meeting Nov. 11.

A ninth-grader at East Detroit High School injured in a pool accident Nov. 8 died in the hospital the evening of Nov. 11.

According to the Eastpointe Police Department, emergency services were called to the high school around 1:07 p.m. for a drowning accident at the school pool involving student KeAir Swift. They were able to administer first aid, and Swift was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.

Police Detective Lt. Dave Ernatt said Swift had been on life support, which was shut off.

Police detectives are continuing to find out what happened, including interviewing witnesses, Public Safety Director John McNeilance said.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” McNeilance said. “We’re still talking to people and getting that put together.”

“We need to finish up a few interviews and complete the investigation,” Ernatt said. A press release from the school district stated that it does not expect criminal charges to be filed against anybody.

During the East Detroit Public Schools Board of Education meeting Nov. 11, Superintendent Joanne Lelekatch issued a statement asking for members of the community to keep Swift’s family in their thoughts. Meeting attendees were not yet aware of Swift's passing.

“These are difficult times for us and the family,” she said. “It’s not just an accident involving a student we all read about. It’s an accident involving one of our own. He was one of us.”

Swim coach Kirsten Trube-Sheikh brought along to the meeting several of her swimmers to show support for Swift, while board members each expressed their solidarity with the family.

Lelekatch said in a statement that the school is working on a comprehensive review of the events and is cooperating fully with local authorities to find out the details of what happened to prevent it from occurring again.

The school press release stated that the district also brought in grief counselors and a crisis team to work with students and staff, and the Macomb Intermediate School District has provided additional support for teachers and staff.