Thousands attend vigil for Danville student found dead in pool
DANVILLE, Calif. - A Danville high school is dealing with the loss of one of its students in a tragic and unexpected way. A 15-year-old boy was found unresponsive in the San Ramon Valley High School's swimming pool on Tuesday and he later died at the hospital.
On Wednesday evening, thousands attended a candlelight vigil for the student at the school's football field. Earlier in the day, flowers and cards paid tribute to Ben Curry, whom friends said was a freshman who had been bullied in the past. Some signs also listed the number for a national suicide hotline.
Chase Morgan was at the vigil and was a classmate of Curry's. He said they had known each other since they were in kindergarten. He said he helped the P.E. teacher pull Curry, unconscious, out of the pool.
"I wish he can see how many people showed up for him, how many friends who actually loved him," Morgan said.
“Ben was really sweet and really shy,” said 16-year-old Julia Item. “I know he was bullied a lot and thought he didn't have a lot of people he could rely on or a lot of close friends.” She told KTVU that she had met Ben through a campus peer support group called Breaking Down Walls.
But other friends described Ben as an outgoing, athletic teen. He was on the basketball team, where members laid out their shoes in front of the school's makeshift memorial.
Matthew Lowe said his cousin was friends with Ben. "He says he was a really happy guy, a good athlete."
On Tuesday about 1 p.m. during 5th period, just as a class was about to get into the pool for PE, a teacher spotted a teen's body at the bottom of the school swimming pool, about 13 feet deep.
The teacher pulled the boy from the water, and performed CPR.
The boy was transported to Kaiser Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was later pronounced dead.
School administrators wouldn't comment on what they know about what exactly happened, or how this happened, saying only there are "a lot of rumors going around."
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District has brought in a team of specialists to help students who need grief counseling, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich.
Danville police are investigating his death but do not believe any sort of crime was committed. The police chief said officers will be interviewing lots of students as part of their investigation and looking for other evidence to determine exactly what happened.