Valley Family Deals With Loss of Son

The tragic death of an 8-year-old boy has a Valley family dealing with the unthinkable.
The Harrisonburg boy drowned while swimming at the R-M-H Wellness Center over the weekend.

Suman Strestha was at a birthday party when it happened.

It's a quiet day at the American Indian Cafe in Harrisonburg.
The doors are closed as family and friends mourn the loss of Suman Strestha.

Mark Keller, a family friend, says he was someone who was dearly loved by his parents and also by the customers who came here.

Strestha was at a birthday party Saturday with some friends.

He was swimming in the pool at the RMH Wellness Center when he was found unconscious at the bottom.

Paramedics tried to revive him but it was too late. He was pronounced dead minutes later at the hospital.

Monday afternoon the medical examiner ruled Suman's death was an accidental drowning.
That rules out any investigation by Harrisonburg police. It's a different story for RMH, their investigation is just beginning.

RMH President, Carter Melton says the information they have so far indicates the staff at the Wellness Center did respond properly, that this happened very quickly.
He says everyone is devastated that the child could not be revived.

Since the investigation is ongoing, few details are being released. Melton did say one lifeguard was on duty, watching about twelve kids, which is about normal.

He expects the investigation to be finished by the end of the week.

In the meantime, Suman's family continues to remember and honor a son who was a friend to everyone who knew him.

The family will hold a public viewing tomorrow at six followed by a memorial service for Suman at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Harrisonburg.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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