Drowning Victim


Even with four lifeguards on duty at the Tukwila pool, Candice Green drowned as she was attempting to learn to swim before her honeymoon in Mexico. This case was tragic on many levels.

MARY NAM: The family of a drowning victim files a $15 million claim against the city of Tukwila.

DAN LEWIS: The family tells us this is not a search for money. It’s a quest for answers. KOMO 4’s Kevin Reece is live in Tukwila with tonight’s big story. Kevin?

KEVIN REECE: And, Dan, we were here that night two weeks ago when medics brought Candice Green out of the Tukwila pool. She died, even though there were four lifeguards here that night. Today, her family filed that multimillion-dollar claim to find out why.

When medics brought Candice Green out of the Tukwila pool, she was breathing. But it had taken them 45 minutes to bring her back and get a pulse. She was unconscious. Brain damage was severe. And three days later, she was gone.

JASON MACKEY: You know, she was just a great person. She was my whole life. She was my spirit, you know, my best friend.

KEVIN REECE: Jason Mackey was her fiancé. He says Candice couldn’t swim. But she wanted to be able to by the time they honeymooned in Mexico. So she bought this book about conquering her fear and enrolled in classes at the Tukwila pool.

That night two weeks ago, she finished her lesson, asked to stay longer to swim on her own. And police reports indicate that another swimmer was the first to find her at the bottom of the deep end of the pool.

JASON MACKEY: So why there wasn’t somebody sitting on top of her with one-on-one instruction helping her at that point in time to me is an atrocity.

BRUCE FLETCHER: They acted as well as possible. And the outcome unfortunately wasn’t what we wanted.

KEVIN REECE: Tukwila’s parks and recreation director tells us there were four lifeguards on staff that night, that they did rush to her aid immediately. But as for specifics, no one knows just how long Candice was underwater before she was found.

BRUCE FLETCHER: With the claim moving forward, we can’t talk on specifics other than we–our hearts and thoughts are with the family. And we did follow our emergency procedures.

JASON MACKEY: I’d like them to revamp their protocol there because they said they – – protocol. But somebody died under their protocol. So that’s not good protocol if you ask me. I’d like to find the truth, you know, what really happened. It won’t bring her back. That’s what I’d really like to see have happen. But I’d like to really know the details of what happened and why it happened, you know.

KEVIN REECE: Meanwhile, the pool continues to offer public swims and swim lessons during normal hours because they say all proper procedures were followed by the staff here that night. Jason Mackey and Candice’s parents say they filed today’s claim to find out if that is something that they could possibly and eventually believe. Live tonight in Tukwila, Kevin Reece, KOMO 4 News.

DAN LEWIS: Thank you, Kevin. A claim is the first step toward a lawsuit. Candice Green was buried last weekend. Three people in–

[GRAPHIC: Perey Law Group, PLLC]