Danville teen's drowning death ruled accidental

DANVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- "They were receiving calls of condolence from other people about their son committing suicide and that just wasn't the case," Attorney Andy Schwartz says he is speaking for the grieving parents of 15 year old Benjamin Curry, the high school freshman who drown in the pool at San Ramon High School. It happened on May 8 in the middle of the school day.

At the time, there were rumors, and some reports that the boy had committed suicide. But now, a coroner's report says while Curry might have been treated for depression, his drowning was far from intentional and there is a video that appears to prove it.

"There was a false narrative out there that the school district could have put a stop to immediately," said Schwartz. "All the school district had to do was tell the public and those that were listening that the young man died in class."

According to a 16 page report from the Contra Costa County Coroner's Bureau, a Danville police officer viewed pool surveillance video that was recorded during the class.

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"At the end of fourth period, he observed the decedent in the swimming pool with multiple other students. He observed the decedent submerge and not surface," reads the description of what the officer saw on the video.

The video doesn't show the Ben Curry again until his body was discovered by students and the teacher of the next class, nearly an hour later.

The coroner's report concludes that, "Although the decedent suffered from depression, there is no indication the decedent intended to drown himself."

"There was a video of the entire event and the school was aware of the video from the moment this incident occurred and never shared the fact that there was a video with the public," said Schwartz.

"There was a teacher supervising the entire fourth period class. He walked out and the young man was at the bottom of the pool."

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District referred all inquiries about Curry's death to Danville police. A police spokesman told ABC7News the department hopes to issue its report by the end of this week.
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