Granger Smith on Son River’s Drowning: ‘The Whole Thing Took Roughly 30 Seconds’
Granger Smith continues to open up to his fans about the devastating loss of his 3-year-old son, River, who died in early June after accidentally getting into the family's pool. In his newest video update, Smith offers some insight for fellow parents regarding hyper-vigilance around water, and chronicles how quickly -- and silently -- the tragedy occurred.
"The night of the accident, I was with all three kids," Smith says in his video. "We were all in the backyard. London and I were playing gymnastics; the boys [River and older brother Lincoln] were playing water gun fight. The events that happened -- and this is really important to understand for everyone, especially parents -- the whole thing took roughly 30 seconds.
"We have a pool gate. We have a fence that we built," Smith adds. "As soon as we moved into this house we built a fence, with a child lock on the gate. We take that very seriously."
Despite the fact that Smith and his wife took every precaution, the tragedy occurred quickly, quietly and against all odds. "There was silence," Smith recalls. "I was 15 feet from the gate, which is something that will haunt me the rest of my life. I was 15 feet from that water, doing gymnastics. A, him getting there is an almost impossible feat, and B, him silently getting into the water is beyond any of us understanding."
River was a swimmer, Smith adds, but even a child who swims every day can easily drown with the additional weight of shoes or a diaper. The singer reiterates that a near-impossible sequence of events quickly became a reality on that tragic evening, and also says that although a part of him would rather just "pack up the family, find some secluded cabin in Colorado and never be heard from again," he ultimately feels like it is his responsibility to continue to be a positive role model in the community, and spread awareness for other parents.
"You gotta love those around you today," he adds. "Right now, because the impossible does happen, and the impossible scenarios can happen, and we just don't know."
When they first shared news of River's death, the Smiths requested that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to express their sympathy should make donations to the Dell Children's Medical Center, where River was treated. The couple created a T-shirt in memory of their son, and proceeds from the sales also went to Dell Children's. So far, the Smiths have raised over $218,000 for the hospital.
WATCH: Granger Smith Honors River With "Heaven Bound Balloons"
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