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Shrewsbury boy drowns in Lancaster hotel pool
An 8-year-old Shrewsbury boy died Saturday at a birthday get-together at a Lancaster County hotel pool.
John "J.J." Harvilicz Jr. drowned about 4 p.m. in the pool at the DoubleTree Resort at Willow Valley, 2400 Willow Street Pike, West Lampeter Police Detective Steven Heinly said Monday.
West Lampeter Police are investigating the incident as an accidental death based on the findings of Lancaster County Coroner Stephen Diamantoni, Heinly said.
J.J. was celebrating a birthday with several other children when he drowned in the 5½-foot-deep end of the pool, Heinly said.
It is unclear if a lifeguard was on duty at the time of the drowning.
The hotel’s website advertises a pool party package that includes a “personal attendant,” though Heinly said he did not believe the small gathering was an official party reserved through the hotel.
Southern York County School District Superintendent Sandra Lemmon sent an email Sunday notifying parents of the boy's death as the result of a “tragic accident.” J.J. was a second-grader at Shrewsbury Elementary School. Additional guidance counselors will be available to students at school, Lemmon said.
“I thank you for keeping the entire (Harvilicz) family in your thoughts during this genuinely sad time,” Lemmon wrote. “Together as a Southern family, we will support one another in this time of need. J.J. will be greatly missed by the entire Southern York County School District community.”
Public viewings will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Shrewsbury Christ Lutheran Church at 105 S. Main St.
J.J.’s funeral service begins at 2 p.m. Friday at the church after a public viewing at 1 p.m.
Diamantoni and representatives of DoubleTree Resort could not immediately be reached Monday.