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Family of drowned Glenview boy plans lawsuit

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A suburban 4-year-old drowned in a public pool while on a visit with his day care and his parents want answers about how their son died despite the presence of both lifeguards and day care chaperones.

Vicente Cardenas drowned last Friday.

He and other children from his day care were visiting Roosevelt Pool in north suburban Glenview.

He sang at his preschool graduation ceremony less than a month ago.

His family says he was a fun little boy just days away from his fifth birthday who was looking forward to last Friday's field trip to the Glenview swimming pool, despite the fact he was unable to swim.

There were teachers and chaperones on hand, as well as lifeguards at the pool, but somehow they apparently failed to notice the boy get into the water at a level where it was six feet deep.

Older kids at the pool reportedly noticed him in a fetal position at the bottom of the pool and alerted lifeguards, but paramedics were unable to revive him.

And his family wants answers.

"If a 4-year-old who couldn't swim wound up downed, it means that someone failed to supervise and we all need to understand exactly how this happened," said Val Gurvits, the victim's uncle.

His family says administrators with the Wesley Child Care Center have failed to answer their questions.

They did however send a note home to other parents today which reads in part, "Words cannot convey the heartache, sympathy, and concern we have for the family of Vicente Cardenas, and we know that all of you share in their sorrow and grief as well."

Wesley staff is not at liberty to discuss matters related to the incident with parents who understandably want to know more. Vicente's family now plans to try to get answers through the courts.

[ "Unfortunately, because the center has refused to provide this information, we now have little choice but to take legal action," Gurvits said.

According to the child care center, the drowning is under investigation by the Glenview Police and the DCFS.

The Glenview Park District meantime has shortened the hours the pool is open this week and restricted field trips.

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