Police investigating incident at Buttercup Pool after young girl's death


A young girl hospitalized after an incident Tuesday at Buttercup Pool has passed away from her injuries early Wednesday evening, according to a statement released by the Cedar Park Police Department, which confirmed police are investigating the incident.

Darlene Lewis, of the Cedar Park Police Department Commander-Support Services Bureau, said the department is honoring the family’s wishes to not identify the girl. The police department's release Wednesday evening said that the circumstances surrounding the incident remain under investigation.

“On behalf of the City of Cedar Park, we extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to the child’s family and friends. If you have any important first-hand information that may be relevant to this incident, call Sergeant Kristy Whitley directly at 512-260-4816,” the statement said.

The release confirmed that Cedar Park police responded at 2:56 p.m. Tuesday to the Buttercup Pool at 411 Twin Oak Trail for a report of a possible drowning involving a child. 

The city’s Certified Lifeguards discovered the girl underwater, removed her from the water and had begun immediate lifesaving measures by the time the emergency responders arrived. Cedar Park police and fire took over the life-saving measures at the scene, according to the release.

Lewis said police have no information at this point of the investigation to indicate the child was intentionally held underwater by other children.

Police were also able to confirm the girl was at the pool as part of group with High Hopes Summer Camp, although the number of children with the organization is still under investigation. They also confirmed four certified lifeguards were on duty at the time of the incident and approximately between 130 and 140 people were occupying the pool area — well within the city’s 200-person maximum capacity limit.

The city's policy requires daycare and summer camps to fill out a form and schedule with the city ahead of time so the appropriate number of certified lifeguards can be present, including the time and day they plan to attend, the number of children and the number of adult chaperones.

Twin Lakes YMCA confirmed that its policy also requires large groups to be scheduled in advance, according to Laura Arredondo, vice president of marketing and communications for YMCA of Greater Williamson County. 

"If (we are) not staffed to accommodate, they would be turned away," Arredondo said.

Lewis confirmed to the Hill Country News Thursday that High Hopes did provide advance notice to the city that it would be bringing a large group of swimmers to the pool. 

Lewis said all city Certified Lifeguards are employed by the city and must complete 30 hours of training through Ellis and Associates, a national sanctioning body for lifeguarding. The training includes CPR certification and meets the Model Aquatic Health Code, which is established by the Centers for Disease Control. The city also provides additional daily in-service training for its lifeguards at the beginning of every shift.

Buttercup Pool was closed on Wednesday, and City of Cedar Park spokesperson Huerta said the city has not yet determined how much longer the pool will remain closed.