Former Southlake coach charged in swimmer's drowning

Former coach charged in swimmer's death

SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS - Earlier this year, Lori Cerami sat down with Cook Children's Hospital and shared the story of her daughter Elise's death. The experienced swimmer was pulled from the water, unconscious, during swim practice at the Carroll ISD Aquatics Center on June 20, 2016. Elise was part of the North Texas Nadadores swim club.

"No one heard her drown, no one saw her drown. And no one was actively scanning the water," Cerami said on the Cook Children's video.

WFAA has now learned that one of Elise's swim coaches at the time, a woman named Tracey Boyd of Fort Worth, has been charged in connection with the 13-year-old's drowning. The official charge is abandoning or endangering a child by criminal negligence.

According to the indictment, a Tarrant County Grand Jury found Boyd engaged in criminally negligent conduct. They believe Boyd failed to watch Elise while she was in the pool or failed to ensure someone else watched Elise while Boyd was absent.

The indictment does not detail what investigators believe happened that day in the pool.

Boyd's attorney Dan Hagood says she is not guilty, and will do her talking in the courtroom.

The Cerami family issued a statement Wednesday, saying in part: "The charge against Tracey Boyd describes her conduct and we believe that the district attorney will devote the full resources of their office to the case against Boyd. While the court system proceeds with the grand jury's indictment, our efforts will continue in water safety and drowning prevention."

This year, at least four children have died from drowning in Tarrant County alone.

Boyd's LinkedIn profile says she is no longer with the swim team.

If convicted, the DA's office says the felony charge could lead between 180 days to two years in state jail, possible fines and is probation eligible.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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