Granger Smith on 3-Year-Old Son River's Drowning Death: 'I Was 15 Feet Away'

Granger Smith is continuing to discuss the heartbreaking loss of his 3-year-old son, River, who accidentally got into the family's pool earlier this month, and subsequently passed away from his injuries. The singer shared more details of that devastating night in a video posted on YouTube, while driving to his family's farm, stressing the importance of water safety, even though he knows his family did all they could to prevent the tragedy.

"They were all there," Smith recalled. "The night of the accident I was with all three kids. We were all in the backyard. London and I were playing gymnastics, the boys were playing water gun fight. The events that happened – and this is really important to understand for everyone, especially parents – this whole thing took roughly 30 seconds. We have a pool gate. We have a fence that we built. As soon as we moved into this house we built a fence, with a child lock on the gate. We take that very seriously.

"During that sequence of events that, as many times as I've gone through this sequence of events in my head, which has been a million, as many times as I've gone through these, there's a series of scenarios that happened that were virtually impossible, and River found a way to accomplish the impossible several times."

Although Smith and his wife, Amber, did everything they knew to do to keep their children, which also includes 7-year-old London, 5-year-old Lincoln, safe, Smith has advice for other parents whose children are anywhere near the water.

"The other important thing to know, and I'll talk about this more in the months and years to come, is how quiet this whole thing happened," Smith said. "There was silence. I was 15 feet from the gate, which is something that will haunt me the rest of my life. I was 15 feet from that water, doing gymnastics. A, him getting in there is an almost impossible feat, and B, him silently getting into the water is beyond any of us understanding.

"The other thing is, he was a swimmer, and we swam every day," he remarked. "He was around that pool every single day of that long Texas summer. There's things to account for, when you talk about a kid who can swim. You have to account for wearing a diaper, which adds another 10 pounds to the body. You have to account for shoes. If you can't learn to swim with shoes and with a full diaper, that's a whole different deal."

Smith shared the advice while driving to his Yee Yee Farm, which he said he used to do often with River, doing it for the last time the day the accident occurred, leaving Smith, his wife Amber, and their family with an unimaginable loss.

"Part of me wants to pack up the family, find some secluded cabin in Colorado and disappear, and never be heard from again," Smith conceded. "I don't think that a lot of you would blame me if I did that. I don't think it would be wrong if I did that. But when I started this Smith's channel, this YouTube channel, it took a long time to even decide to do that.

"But we did that in an effort to share our lives with you guys, so that we could try to be positive role models," he added, "and it would also challenge us, to keep each other accountable for being positive role models. I feel compelled to keep that going."

The 39-year-old also had words of wisdom for people who have not faced such an unthinkable tragedy, now that he has experienced firsthand how precarious life can be.

"You've gotta love those around you today. Right now, because the impossible does happen, and the impossible scenarios can happen, and we just don't know."


Smith and Amber just donated a check for more than $218,000 to Dell Medical Center, where River was treated. The money was raised from the sale t-shirts made in River's memory, which are available for purchase on Smith's website.

Photo Credit: Instagram / Granger Smith