Coroner’s inquest into Chinese student’s death underway
Yifan Wang, 17, died in 2011 after nearly drowning in Saint John's aquatic centre
A Saint John police officer told a coroner's inquest she saw no signs of criminal activity in the death of a 17-year-old Chinese student who died in hospital after nearly drowning at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre in Saint John in 2011.
Jodi McCormack told the jury she watched video surveillance tapes of the Sept. 18 public swim closely and took statements from two Yifan (Jason) Wang's friends, who were with him that day.
McCormack said she spotted Wang walking to the three-metre slide around 3:10 p.m.
Eight minutes later, she saw him coming off the slide and into the water — where he re-surfaced and then appeared to flow along, in the direction of the water.
But then he disappeared, she said.
A lifeguard spotted Wang and blew the whistle at 3:21 p.m., said McCormack.
Wang was pulled from the water less than a second later and emergency responders arrived in less than five minutes, she said.
McCormack went to the Saint John Regional Hospital where a physician told her Wang was on a ventilator and had minimum brain activity.
Wang was pronounced dead two days later in the intensive care unit from injuries he sustained.
Wang had moved to Saint John as an international student.
His parents are in China and not attending the inquest, which is scheduled to last four days.
The province's chief coroner and jury will publicly hear evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Wang's death.
The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances, a government release states.
A coroner’s inquest does not make any finding of legal responsibility.