Family wants answers after teen's drowning

May 1, 2008 6:01:40 PM PDT
A family is demanding answers after their son drowned at his Houston high school. They claim the teen was pushed into the water.The family came to Westside High School hoping to talk to teachers and hoping to get a copy of a tape that shows what happened the day their son died. They say none of that happened. They did, however, see the pool where the school district says 17-year-old Vincent Agwuoke jumped in and drowned.

The accident happened on April 10 during a physics class experiment at the school pool. The district says the teen and some other students jumped into the deep end after the experiment was over.

The family says after looking at the tape, they don't think the teacher was even there when their son went in the water. They say the tape only shows him as he's falling in. They think someone may have been behind him and pushed him in.

Vincent Agwuoke, the teen's father, told Eyewitness News, "While they were testing the boat at the three-foot level, and the boat started sinking -- it was a paper boat made with duct tape -- when the boat started sinking and Vincent was inside the boat, Vincent jumped out, telling them that he didn't know how to swim. Tell me how Vincent can go to the 12-foot area to jump in?"

"We've lost three lives -- that of Vincent, myself and his father," said Celestina Aqwuoke, the teen's mother.

HISD says they told the father they would never get a copy of that tape because of privacy issues. They did say, however, that they showed the tape to the father last week. His wife was not present at the time. Officials do plan to show her the tape as well.

Officials say they told the family ahead of time that teachers would not be available at today's meeting. However, the family is devastated. They say they may consider filing a lawsuit.

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