Vermont Resort Tragedy: Legal Decision Reveals No Charges in 3-Year-Old’s Cistern Death

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Vermont State Police announced on Tuesday that no criminal charges would be filed in the heartbreaking incident involving the death of 3-year-old Tate Holtzman. 

Tate suffered grave injuries after falling into an underground cistern during a daycare program at Smugglers’ Notch Resort back in July.

The investigation concluded that Tate, from Cambridge, was under adult supervision near an outdoor splash pad when he inadvertently stepped on an unsecured cover to the cistern. Tragically, the cover gave way, leading to the toddler’s fall. 

Despite the valiant efforts of teenage lifeguards nearby, who bravely ventured into the cistern in a heroic attempt to rescue Tate, the young boy succumbed to his injuries days later at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Vermont State Police submitted their findings to the Lamoille County state’s attorney, who determined that no criminal charges would be pursued. 

Vermont Family’s Advocacy for Water Safety

vermont-resort-tragedy-legal-decision-reveals-no-charges-in-3-year-old's-cistern-death
Vermont State Police announced on Tuesday that no criminal charges would be filed in the heartbreaking incident involving the death of 3-year-old Tate Holtzman.

Meanwhile, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Vermont Department for Children and Families, responsible for overseeing licensed daycare providers, are conducting their respective reviews of the incident.

Chief Marketing Officer Steve Clokey of Smugglers’ Notch Resort declined to provide further comment on the matter.

In a heartfelt statement delivered through the police, Tate’s parents, Jennifer and Zachary Holtzman, expressed their determination to honor their son’s memory by advocating for water safety measures. They are dedicated to preventing similar tragedies from occurring to other young children.

However, the family’s lawyer, Jennifer Denker from Boston, hinted at potential civil litigation. Denker emphasized that the incident was a preventable tragedy stemming from a hazardous product lacking essential safety features, worsened by improper installation and inadequate warnings.

As this devastating event continues to evoke deep sympathy and concern, the family’s resolve to promote water safety stands as a poignant tribute to Tate while highlighting the imperative need for enhanced safety measures in public spaces frequented by children.

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