A Staten Island boy drowned at a Plattsburgh motel Monday night.

Clinton County 911 received a call around 8 p.m. about an unresponsive child in the pool at the Super 8 motel at 7129 Route 9 in the Town of Plattsburgh.

Plattsburgh-based State Police said 8-year-old Toni Li had been at the pool with his sister, Ran, who is 17, when he went into the deep end and started experiencing difficulties.

His sister went into the water to try to help him, but she also struggled because she doesn’t know how to swim, police said.

Toni was eventually pulled from the water, and a motel worker ran to call 911.

Emergency Medical Technicians Roy Smith and George Shepler from Cumberland Head Fire Department arrived to find the boy already lying on the side of the pool. They started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Clinton County Sheriff’s Deputies William Dominy and Anthony Cordick got there soon after and helped with CPR. They also attached the Automated External Device defibrillator that is carried in the patrol cars, but it could not help the boy.

Toni was transported by ambulance to CVPH Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead at about 8:40 p.m. by Dr. Ladd Osbourne.

Clinton County Coroner David F. Donah was notified, and an autopsy performed Tuesday showed that the boy drowned.

Motel pools are not staffed by lifeguards and post warnings that people swim at their own risk.

Sheriff David Favro said that even though the family was not local, this is a “traumatic event for all of Clinton County.”

He pointed out how easy it is for something like this to happen.

“You turn your back for just a minute, and that’s what happens. That’s why we always advise when kids are near water or in water, don’t turn your back on them.”

Cumberland Head Fire Chief Art Brault, who also responded to the motel, said it was difficult for all the volunteers.

“Any time there is a child involved, it is not good,” he said.

The Fire Department will hold a stress debriefing later in the week for the crews involved.

E-mail Lois Clermont at:



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