Quality Inn Hotel Drowning, Third Within 4 Years (Knoxville, TN)

We have just been informed of a drowning of a three-year-old boy at the Knoxville based Quality Inn Hotel & Waterpark. What makes this story so upsetting and has raised eyebrows is that this latest drowning marks the 3rd drowning at this location within the last 4 years. Now how is that possible? Is this some sort of death trap for kids visiting?


It is reported that police and fire units were dispatched to the indoor swimming pool at the Quality Inn Hotel at approximately 6:00pm on the day of the drowning.

His name was Raymond Whitlock and he was only 3 years old. He was yet another victim of a needless drowning that could have been prevented with adequate supervision. The two other drownings that occurred within a 4 year period at this hotel were Darshawn Martez, age 7 and Anderson Cooper Goldsmith, age 4. This many drownings at this hotel is absolutely unacceptable!

Law enforcement officials report that Raymond was left unattended at the indoor pool along with his 6-year-old brother, a 5-year-old cousin and a 5-year-old friend. The children were left in the care of a relative.

On that tragic day, it was other swimmers at the pool who discovered the boy underwater, pulled him to the deck and then began to administer CPR until fire units arrived. He was then transported to Parkwest Medical Center and then transferred to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital where he died.

At this point there are a lot of questions surrounding the circumstances of this drowning and investigators are working with prosecutors to determine whether charges should be filed or not.

When we were made aware of this incident, the first thing we did was do an internet search on this hotel and to get an idea of the pool layout. As you can see in the photo below, it is a mini waterpark. As we looked deeper into this location we also discovered reviews complaining that they have no lifeguards at this location which is troublesome especially when they have a mini waterpark for visiting kids. Have they ever had lifeguards? What would be their reason be for not having lifeguards on duty? These are some of the questions that will certainly come up in any legal proceeding.

As far as the parents of this boy, we wonder where they were or went to when they left the three children in the care of the unnamed relative. Who was this relative and why did the boy drown under their watch? Was this an older relative such as a grandparent or maybe an older child? We just don’t have the answers but we will be monitoring this story as it develops.

This story reminds us of the drowning that occurred at the Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) drowning incident where the primary nanny of the child that drowned left the responsibilities with another person at this party so they could go attend a concert somewhere. Tragic!

From what we know, there were many failures in supervision that led to the drowning death of Raymond Whitlock. Honestly we really want to know why this hotel did not have lifeguards at all or if they even have lifeguards on staff to monitor this pool. As far as we have been able to gather, there are signs posted stating “No Lifeguards On Duty” however in the legal world we know that signs do not protect anyone from lawsuits in cases of drownings. We have a feeling that this hotel will get hit hard on this one especially in that they have a mini waterpark on the premises.

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