Special Olympics athlete drowns at Taos community pool

TAOS N.M. (KRQE) – A Special Olympics athlete was found at the bottom of a New Mexico community pool on Sunday afternoon.

With lifeguards just feet away, people are asking how this happened.

“There’s a boy that’s drowned at the pool,” said a witness to a 911 dispatcher. “My daughter found him at the bottom of the pool.”

According to 911 calls, 20-year-old James Brown, a local Special Olympics runner, was pulled from the Taos Youth and Family Center’s indoor swimming pool after being spotted by swimmers.

“We need an ambulance now,” said a 911 caller.

Lifeguards began performing CPR but could not save Brown.

“They’re trying to do CPR, but I think he’s dead,” said the 911 caller.

Brown’s death now has people questioning the lifeguards at the center and their training.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the Taos Town Manager and were told he was not available at the moment. He never called back.

KRQE News 13 then called the director of the Taos Youth and Family Center. He said all of their lifeguards are thoroughly trained and Red Cross certified. The director also said this is the first drowning they have ever had. He then directed us back to the town manager for any other questions about what happened Sunday.

Police are now investigating the death.

The center’s pool is closed until further notice.

According to the Taos Youth and Family Center’s website, there are five lifeguards and a pool supervisor on staff. The schedule also says it was open swim at the pool at the time of the drowning.

On the Special Olympics Penasco Facebook page, they call Brown an amazing young man and super athlete.

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