A former Carroll school district swim coach has been indicted in the drowning of a 13-year-old swimmer at a practice in June 2016, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Tracey Anne Boyd, 49, was charged with abandonment and endangering of a child by criminal negligence, a state jail felony, in a direct indictment on June 29, said Sam Jordan, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.
WFAA reported Wednesday that Boyd was arrested in Johnson County this month. It was unclear if she was still in custody. She has a court date scheduled for Aug. 1, Jordan said.
Elise Cerami — a swimmer with the North Texas Nadadores club, which is owned by the Carroll school district — drowned June 20, 2016, during a Nadadores swim practice at the Carroll school district’s Aquatics Center in Southlake.
The indictment against Boyd alleges that she failed to “watch or observe Elise Cerami while [Cerami] was swimming” and failed to ensure that she was being supervised by someone else.
Boyd’s LinkedIn page says she was an assistant coach for the Nadadores for about 18 months before leaving in February 2017.
A statement from the Carroll school district Wednesday confirmed that Boyd was employed by the district as an assistant swim coach at the time of the incident.
“Carroll ISD is not aware of any facts arising out of those circumstances that would support charges or an indictment,” the statement said.
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled Cerami’s death an accidental drowning.
But it was unclear why she sank into the water after a routine warmup session about 6:45 a.m.
When her teammates realized she hadn’t surfaced, they pulled her out, and staff members administered CPR while awaiting paramedics.
Cerami was taken to Baylor Regional Medical Center in Grapevine before being transferred to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, where she was pronounced dead.
On June 19, almost a year to the day of her daughter’s death, Cerami’s mother, Lori Cerami, spoke at a Carroll school board meeting, asking trustees to push for higher safety standards at the district’s aquatics center, including having swim coaches receive lifeguard training through the American Red Cross.
The lifeguard training, Lori Cerami said, is much more rigorous than the standard training for swim coaches.
“For the safety of our kids, swim coaches, who often act as first responders, should hold the highest standard of safety between the two certifications,” Cerami told the board.
In September, administrators doubled the number of lifeguards at the Aquatics Center, but officials continued to review facility practices and procedures. In May, board members approved a plan to add two supervisory positions to oversee the lifeguard program.
Cerami also participated in a drowning prevention video for Cook Children’s in May, warning to parents to “lifeguard your child.”
“No one heard her drown, no one saw her drown and no one was actively scanning the water,” Cerami said in the video. “Regardless of experience, no one is drown-proof.”
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives