Authorities to discuss whether charges will be filed in toddlers’ drowning deaths, funds being raised |

Authorities to discuss whether charges will be filed in toddlers’ drowning deaths, funds being raised

Megan Tomasic
Hayden Lewis Smith, 1, (left) and Hunter George Smith, 3, died after drowning in the family swimming pool.

A Uniontown police investigator plans to meet with the Fayette County District Attorney next week to review the results of his investigation to determine whether any charges will be filed in connection with the death of two young boys who drowned in their family’s swimming pool this week.

Lt. Thomas Kolencik said Friday night he expects to meet with District Attorney Richard E. Bower on Wednesday to discuss the deaths of Hunter George Smith, 3, and Hayden Lewis Smith, 1. Kolencik declined to comment on any aspect of his investigation or whether he believes there may be any reason to file charges.

Both of the boys died of asphyxiation due to drowning and no autopsy nor toxicology tests will be conducted, said Coroner Phillip E. Reilly said Friday night. The coroner said it was an accidental drowning and there was no indication of marks on the boys’ bodies from an injury or trauma.

“This was an terrible, unfortunate accident,” Reilly said. “It’s a double tragedy.”

The boys were pulled from the swimming pool in the backyard of their family’s home on Whiteman Avenue around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, by their grandfather, Franklin Hough and aunt Hannah Smith, according to the boys’ grandmother, Debbie Smith. They performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation on the boys, the family said.

No one saw the boys either walk into or fall in the family’s pool, which is accessible from a deck, Reilly said. It was not known how long the boys were in the water before being found, the coroner said. The pool did have a ladder that would enable a person to climb out of the pool, he said.

The water was too deep for the boys to stand on their toes to keep their heads above the water, nor was it feasible for them to be able to bob up and down in the water for an indefinite time, Reilly said. Neither boy was wearing any flotation device when they were found, he said.

Fund to pay for funerals

Community members are banding together to help the Smith family pay for funeral expenses after the brothers drowned this week.

A GoFundMe page, was set up and by Friday afternoon, almost $1,000 was donated toward an $8,000 goal.

“Hunter and Hayden’s families would appreciate any help with the burial of these two angels,” the page reads. “Family is also asking for donations in lieu of flowers.”

The boys enjoyed playing with toys and watching Spider-Man and Batman.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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