Sad news to come out of Los Angeles. A special needs student passed away during a field trip on Wednesday in East Los Angeles. The 16-year-old student who had autism drowned during his class field trip.
Unfortunately although lifeguards tried to save Garfield High School student Erick Ortiz from the deep end of the pool, in the end nothing could be done to save his life. A witness who was on the scene at Atlantic Park said that lifeguards administered CPR on Ortiz following the horrific incident.
Leslie Ortiz, Erick’s sister, is still trying to figure out what prompted her brother to go into the pool:
“He went in with all of his clothes on, you know with his shoes on, this is not (how) somebody that’s prepared to go swimming goes into the pool, right?”
According to Ortiz’s sister, she insists that a teaching assistant was assigned exclusively to her brother. It was the teaching assistant’s job to keep an eye out on Erick Ortiz and to be with him at all times. His sister seemed livid as she explained how much assistance her brother needed but didn’t receive on the day he died.
“That was his one job, to watch him. Where was he? My brother couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone, the assistant had to go with him.”
According to NBC, the Ortiz family was very concerned over how the teaching assistant treating Erick’s drowning. Leslie detailed everything:
“(Erick’s) own TA called my mom at 1:40 p.m. and told her that they were trying to revive him in the ambulance. Why didn’t he call her before? He waited until the ambulance was there to contact my mom. I don’t think that’s right.”
Leslie explained that her mother fought to get Erick extra help with the LAUSD.
“My mom went to the school every day. Took care of (Erick), dealt with every single teacher that he has. You could go to Garfield High School, everybody knows my mom, everybody knows her.”
Following the special needs student’s death Garfield High School’s flag was at half-staff on Thursday morning. It was the last day of classes before students left for the summer.
In the wake of Erick’s death, the Ortiz family is still after answers.
“Was my brother pushed, did he trip, did he fall in there? But I mean whatever the circumstance was, where was everybody around him that couldn’t see what happened?”
Following his drowning Ortiz was transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead.
[Image via Marques / Shutterstock]