TROUP COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned of a major development happening Friday in the case of a drowning death during football camp. All sides are scheduled to try and resolve the case.
A lawsuit by a 14-year-old's mother raises questions about the roles two government agencies and a college played.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne has been digging into the case for months.
A lawyer for the family of drowned football player Nar'Quevious Tucker said witness statements make clear fellow players pulled the teen from the bottom of a swimming pool -- not a lifeguard.
His mother told Winne that's just the beginning of her allegations in a lawsuit set for mediation Friday.
“I dropped him off. That was my last time seeing my son,” Carsellea Tucker said. “The next day, I got a call and I had to go to the emergency room.”
“I can never bring back her child … never,” family attorney Lisa Reeves said.
Reeves said the teen’s mother dropped him off at the LaGrange High School preseason football camp in the summer of 2017, knowing nothing about a pool party in which the coaches would take the team at LaGrange College -- where her son would drown.
“He was just an outgoing, fun-loving, sweet person,” Tucker said. “It just hurts me so bad.”
Reeves said based on her investigation and from what she found in a LaGrange police investigation that was a treasure trove of video, photos and witness statements, Nar'Quevious Tucker should not have drowned.
She's filed suit and alleges LaGrange College, the Troup County School System and the Troup County Health Department all bear responsibility.
“How were they so neglectful and why?” Tucker asked.
Records indicate LaGrange College denies "negligent failure to provide the appropriate number of lifeguards" and said at all relevant times, three lifeguards were on duty. Reeves disputes.
“I wasn’t aware it was gonna be 50 or 75 kids,” aquatics director Hewett Disk said.
The college also denies an allegation about required safety equipment. Reeves said assistant coach Jeff Anderson performed heroically, resuscitating the player, but she relies in part on a witness statement to police that said, "We were at least 4 minutes in until we received a mask or AED."
“This was a dangerous pool from the beginning,” Reeves said.
In a document, the school district denies a failure to use reasonable care to protect Tucker.
The Troup County Health Department denies an allegation the college was permitted to rent its swimming pools with lifeguards to the public without an operating license/permit and routine inspection.
Lawyer Matthew Moffett, who represents LaGrange College, sent Channel 2 Action News the following email:
"The presiding judge has not given us permission to discuss the case with the media. It said we can report that the judge issued a stay in the litigation so that the parties can meet this week with a judicial mediator to discuss how this case can be resolved."
The college said, “We extend our prayers and deepest sympathy."
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