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$2 million settlement for family of teen who drowned in school pool

SEATTLE -- The family of a teen boy who drowned in Wenatchee High School's pool last year has reached a $2 million settlement in a a negligence lawsuit filed against the Wenatchee School District, the family's attorney announced Tuesday.

Antonio Reyes, 14, was last seen treading water with the class on Nov. 17. His body was found on the bottom of the pool 40 minutes later by students arriving for the next class.

Antonio's parents said their son couldn't swim. Investigators found he missed the assessment scheduled in the first week of class.

During Reyes' P.E. class, there was only one instructor present and no other, dedicated lifeguard on duty, said attorney Sim Obsorne, who represented the Reyes family. During a warm-up activity in the deep end of the pool, Reyes could not stay afloat.

"Reyes wasn't tested to see if he could swim, and yet, he was told to tread water in the deep end of the pool without a dedicated lifeguard to watch out for his safety," Osborne said in a statement announcing the settlement. "The result was as predictable as it was tragic."

As part of the settlement, the school district also issued a formal apology to Reyes' family and will enhance safety protections for swimmers at the high school.

"We have taken substantial measures to prevent similar accidents in the future, so that your family's loss will not have been in vain," Wenatchee School superintendent Brian Flones wrote to the family.

Reyes is survived by a twin brother, in addition to his father and mother.

Reyes' father says he's takes solace that other parents won't have to suffer a similar tragedy in the future.

"The most important thing to us is the peace of mind we now have knowing there will always be a lifeguard present at the pool, and no other parents will have to endure what we've been through," said Juan Jose Reyes.

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