Girl killed after being sucked into Hilton hotel pool pipe pictured as mom remembers her ‘noble heart’

The tragic 8-year-old girl who died after being sucked into a pool pipe in Houston has been pictured and identified as her grieving mother remembers her for her “noble heart” and “big smile that was contagious with joy.”

Aliyah Lynette Jaico was swimming in the lazy river pool at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in northwest Houston at around 6 p.m. local time when she dipped under the water and never resurfaced. That was on Saturday.

Hours later, after extensive reviews of the hotel’s security footage and a sweep of the entire facility, it was determined that she had gone underwater and then never resurfaced, so the authorities drained the pool and began searching for her. At one point, they grabbed a camera and sent it into one of the pipes, and that’s where they found her — bunched up in the tube, drowned.

Daniela Jaico, the girl’s mother, took to Facebook to express her grief, writing: “They say we all have our destiny marked… but I can’t understand why yours was like this.. Thank you my love for the 8 years you gave me by your side. Thank you my girl for teaching me what love is and a noble heart.”

The message, which was translated from Spanish by Facebook’s built-in translation feature, continued: “I still don’t accept that you won’t be here anymore, I don’t have to pretend. I hope to see you again one day and you’ll keep looking at me and you’ll get that big smile that was contagious with joy. You gave yourself to love always with your heart so noble. I will love you for all eternity. You are the most beautiful thing God has given me and after every battle we went through together we didn’t win this one. Rest in peace my beautiful Wera. Forever you.”

A heart emoji marked the end of the message, which garnered 86 “sad” reactions, while another tribute post simply marked the girl’s date of birth and her date of death and included pictures of her as a baby. It received 55 mixed reactions, from “sad” to “love” to “care.” Dozens of comments shared sympathies or grief.

Aliyah’s official cause of death was declared “drowning and mechanical asphyxia,” according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science, which performed an autopsy on the young girl. She was about 20 feet inside the pipe, which was described as being 16 inches in diameter. It took teams about 13 hours to recover the corpse.

Initial reports indicate that the piping was faulty or programmed incorrectly, causing it to malfunction, sucking in water from a tube that was supposed to be spitting it out, filtered and cleaned. Reports obtained by local station KXII indicate that this isn’t the first time the facility has been slapped with violations and inspection failures.

An investigation into the tragic drowning is now underway as the authorities attempt to determine whether the hotel is liable for the young girl’s death. “This is one of the saddest ones we’ve seen in a good while, Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller told KXII. He was one of the many called in to assist with the search.

“Many of us had to wipe tears from our eyes,” he said. “I never, ever thought in a million years it was going to end up as bad as it ended up, so I don’t know. There is a grieving family out there, and it is going to be a long, painful healing process over this one.”

  • Original Article: The Mirror
  • Date: March 2024

In the UK and Europe, the British and European standard that provides specific safety requirements and test methods for inlets and outlets and water/air based water leisure features installed in pools for public use is BS EN 13451-3:2022 – Swimming pool equipment. Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for inlets and outlets and water/air based water leisure features installed in pools for public use. This standard was first published in 2011 and is available from BSI. It is currently, under review. PWTAG as members of the European Working Group 8 responsible for the 13451 Swimming Equipment series and the 15288 Swimming Pool Design and Operation can confirm that non of the review clauses proposed will affect the existing requirements which for features of the kind considered in this accident include specific requirements for stream channels including.

  • The speed of the water and the path of stream shall not compromise the safety of a user entering or exiting the feature.
  • The feature shall be designed to avoid unintentional collisions.
  • The average speed of the water in the cross section of the stream channel shall be less than 3,5 m/s.
  • The water depth in the channel shall be between 600 mm and 1 350 mm.
  • The need of supervision of a stream channel shall be considered by a risk assessment according to EN 15288-2.
  • To prevent risks of impact and/or entrapment caused by involuntary movement of the users, special attention shall be paid to the location and type of swimming pool accessories installed in a stream channel.
    NB. It is good practice to consider the different body masses and buoyancy of users as they can affect the action of any particular feature.

One of the several indictments in this accident state that the operators were negligent in not providing barriers to prevent a bathers entry into the outlet.