CHICAGO (CBS) — Houston Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson is paying for the funeral of Curtis Walton Jr., who died in a drowning after football practice.
Walton was found unresponsive at the bottom of the swimming pool at Calumet New Tech High School in Gary, Indiana.
The 14-year-old was a freshman and a member of the varsity football team at Calumet.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 20, 2019
Johnson grew up in Gary, saying on Twitter, “It was hard growing up there — I’ve seen a lot of things and lost a lot of people close to me, so I know that the Walton family is going through. I was just trying to give back out of the kindess of my heart.”
Lake Ridge New Tech Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Johnson-Shirley said Walton and up to 25 of his teammates were cooling off in the pool after practice earlier this month, when he went under and didn’t come back up.
The boy was rushed to the hospital; he died the next day.
Johnson-Shirley said she couldn’t say how long the students were in the pool before the boy was found at the bottom. However, she said they were being supervised.
“We had people on guard. The coach, as a matter of fact, was in the seat to look over the students, and he saw two other students going down to bring this kid up, and he responded immediately,” she said.
The superintendent said she didn’t know if Walton knew how to swim.