Coroner sets date for Darlington drowning inquest

Darlington, SC - DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee has set a date for a formal hearing into how two teenagers died at the Darlington City Pool on Saturday.

Timquan McAllister, 13, and Justin McKay, 13, were both found Saturday afternoon at the bottom of the pool after lifeguards cleared the water for bad weather.

On Thursday, McKay was laid to rest at the Darlington Memorial Cemetery. Services for McAllister are expected to be the first of next week.

The coroner's office is doing a full investigation into what lead to their deaths. The coroner, city officials and many in the Darlington community say they want to know what happened and how to make sure a similar tragedy doesn't happen again.

Mary Sutton lives across the street from the pool and saw the events on Saturday, but she says she was unaware of what was going on. She hopes the truth comes out.

"They didn't deserve that and I hope God or whoever knows what happened come and tell the truth about that," Sutton said.  "I am frustrated because it could have been my child, but they're all grown. It could be my grandchildren, and I wouldn't want that to happen to nobody, nobody's child."

Darlington Mayor Tony Watkins says the city's investigation is on hold until the coroner can interview witnesses and figure out the manner of death.

"He has asked us to refrain from talking to witnesses so he would have first opportunity to do that before we did," Watkins said. "We're sort of on hold. We know there's a lot of information that people want to have, a lot of questions that need to be answered, but we have to be patient and await those results."

Watkins says he too is frustrated, but wants the investigations to be done accurately so they can figure out what needs to be done to prevent this from happening again.

"We want to make sure that everything that can be done, will be done, that all questions are answered. We'll probably want to go beyond that," added Watkins.

The mayor says once the coroner and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division finishes their investigation, the city may open its own investigation if officials feel there are more questions that need to be answered.

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