Opelika man found at bottom of pool dies

An Opelika, Ala., man died Friday after he was found on the bottom of a swimming pool at the Quality Inn on Columbus Parkway.

Ricky Thornton, 37, was pronounced dead at 3:02 p.m. in the emergency room at East Alabama Medical Center, Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said in a release.

Police were called to the hotel to check on a possible drowning after Thornton was found on the bottom of the pool’s deep end. He was pulled from the water and emergency medical personnel started CPR immediately to revive him.

Thornton may have been under water for four to five minutes, the coroner said. No foul play is suspected and the death is being treated as an accidental drowning.

Harris said alcohol may have been a factor in the death. The case remains under investigation by the Opelika Police Department and Lee County Coroner’s Office.