Prosecutors: Swim Coach Absent When HS Swimmer Drowned

Prosecutors in a criminal negligence trial against a former swim coach say the coach disappeared from video surveillance cameras for nearly 10 minutes on the day a 13-year-old swimmer drowned in Southlake, Texas.

Tracey Anne Boyd is on trial for abandonment and endangering a child by criminal negligence. The former North Texas Nadadores coach was coaching a morning practice on June 20th when 13-year-old swimmer Elise Cerami was found floating in the pool, unconscious. Cerami was rushed to the hospital but later declared dead.

Local newspaper the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the criminal case against Boyd began this week, with prosecutors saying video evidence showed a period of nearly 10 minutes in which Boyd did not appear before returning with a cup of coffee. Prosecutors say the evidence will show that Boyd failed to watch all the swimmers in the pool or ensure that the swimmers were supervised.

Boyd’s defense attorney told the jury that Boyd was walking around on deck and speaking to other coaches at the time, calling the evidence “very poor investigation by law enforcement,” per the Star-Telegram.

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1 year ago

Ik it’s not there job or responsibility but why didn’t any of the other swimmers notice?

Swim Coach
1 year ago

This. THIS is why you ALWAYS have lifeguards at your practices. Not playing up the side of the coach, or stating that it was all her fault… just that this case wouldn’t have been necessary if there had been a guard on deck as there should be at every practice.

Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

Yes then it would be the lifeguard on trial.

Reply to  Swim Coach
1 year ago

Can’t always rely on the lifeguard either – we had a masters swimmer on the bottom of the pool and only his lanemate noticed. Not the lifeguard. Everyone (swimmers, coaches, lifeguards) needs to be alert.

Reply to  BETC
1 year ago

Safe Sport Best Practice Guidelines – Two‐deep Leadership: One coach member and at least one other adult who is not in the water should be present at all practices and other sanctioned club activities whenever at least one athlete is present.

I’m sure the case is going to depend on feedback from other Coaches on deck, if they were on deck. While it is a great idea to always have a lifeguard present (obvious reasons), the direction this case goes will definitely depend on feedback received from the other coach who had a heart attack while giving CPR.

California Parent
1 year ago

Coach was found guilty. “A Tarrant County jury convicted Tracey Anne Boyd, 51, on Friday of abandoning or endangering a child through criminal negligence and sentenced her to three years of probation. She had faced up to two years in state jail”

This is in contrast to the case in California where coach was seen looking at cell phone while a student was drowning in 9th grade PE class. The teacher dismissed the class for lunch with boy left in the bottom of pool. No criminal charges but parents have a lawsuit against teacher. Teacher did not miss a day of work. School district is protecting him because he is the varsity football coach.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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