Hundreds turned out for a candlelight vigil Monday to remember Malvrick Donkor, 14, who drowned during a swim class at Manchester High School last week.
“It’s sad, I saw him every day,” said Ricardo Coates.
Students remained outside the school at 134 East Middle Turnpike Monday as they coped with the loss of their classmate. Donkor only recently moved to Manchester from his native Ghana.
“It’s hard. It's pretty rough,” said Mitch Spencer. “It’s going to be hard to adjust to,” Spencer admitted.
In a 911 call made moments after Donkar was pulled from the pool, a student told an emergency dispatcher that a teacher was performing CPR on the 14-year-old.
Police have not released any details on the incident, but according to the Hartford Courant, Donkor may have been under water for about 17 minutes. Other students in the class swam above him, unaware that Donkor was at the bottom of the pool, the paper reported. The State Medical Examiner ruled Donkor's death was accidental.
Thayer Redman, the physical education teacher who oversaw that class has put on paid leave during the investigation. The school has also closed the pool and suspended a swimming classes.
The recent drowning was especially difficult, because this was the second time in less than a year a student from Ghana drowned in a high school pool in Connecticut. “This is happening in East Hartford, now this is happening here,” said student Justin Mojica.