In late May, eight-year old Travis Jackson had passed away in a drowning accident while swimming at the Nickelodeon pool resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The family is now looking to take legal action against Nickelodeon, according to TMZ.
During the last week of May, the eight-year-old went on a vacation with his mother and step-father to the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana. The parents said they saw the resort on an advertisement on the Nickelodeon network.
Once the family arrived, their day started out with a trip to the resort’s pool to enjoy a day in the sun. As Jackson was swimming in the pool, his head became lodged between the legs of a Dora the Explorer statue which is located inside the pool. The kid was unable to remove his head, and died as a result of drowning.
According to the Andalusia Star-News, the lifeguard on duty did not see the incident in time to help Jackson. The stepfather then realizes that Jackson has been submerged under water for a while now, and notifies the lifeguard as they both rush in an attempt to resuscitate the young boy. Unfortunately, it was too late at that point.
Jackson’s grandfather said the eight-year-old can swim very well, which is why the family is blaming Nickelodeon for not taking necessary safety precautions in the pool.
The boy’s father, Kenneth Northey, tells the Daily Mail: “We had pool, the Wickers had a pool, he went to water parks, he would ride on a tube behind a boat and you weren’t worried about him on the water…. that’s another thing that made this hard to take.”
Jackson’s family members are absolutely heart broken. The grandfather told reports that TJ “had a big smile, loved to do things, and had a big imagination.”
“He was real smart. He was one of the top readers in his class, and was just out of the second grade. He had an imagination like you would not believe,” he adds.
Stephanie Brunson, Jackson’s school teacher at the Elba Elementary School in Andalusia, Alabama, recounted how joyful Jackson was before he passed away.
“TJ was such a special boy. He made you smile bigger, laugh harder, dance a little more and he made it OK to be silly. My heart is broken.”
“He would run up to me first thing and tell me what had happened in class between breakfast and PE.”
The family say the love and support they received from the community has helped them deal with their painful loss. However, the father said that their son’s death has taken a toll on himself and Jackson’s mother.
“There is no preparing for this kind of loss,” Northey said. “There is nothing you can do. My son and the little boy’s mom, are just devastated. Their hearts are ripped out.”
TJ’s funeral service had occurred at the Elba High School Auditorium last June. The family is in talks with a lawyer to sue the resort for not taking necessary safety measures.