District releases statement following drowning of Byrnes student - FOX Carolina 21

District releases statement following drowning of Byrnes student

Posted: Updated:
Scene where drowning victim located on Lake Keowee. (6/18/17 FOX Carolina) Scene where drowning victim located on Lake Keowee. (6/18/17 FOX Carolina)
Dillon Ray Spears. (Source: Family friends) Dillon Ray Spears. (Source: Family friends)
Dillon Ray Spears (left) and friends. (Source: Family friends) Dillon Ray Spears (left) and friends. (Source: Family friends)
Vigil held for Dillon Ray Spears. (6/19/17 FOX Carolina) Vigil held for Dillon Ray Spears. (6/19/17 FOX Carolina)
Sheriff Chuck Wright speaks at vigil held for Dillon Ray Spears. (6/19/17 FOX Carolina) Sheriff Chuck Wright speaks at vigil held for Dillon Ray Spears. (6/19/17 FOX Carolina)
Lake Keowee (FOX Carolina) -

The Oconee County Fire Chief said the sheriff's office, DNR and coroner's office are investigating after a drowning Sunday morning at Lake Keowee.

Per Charlie King, two swimmers were at Falls Creek Landing attempting to swim a cove when reports came in of one swimmer going under the water and never resurfacing around 9:50 a.m. He said the victim appeared to have been swimming back toward the point of entry when he went under.

King said divers were able to locate the victim and retrieve the body at 10:30 a.m. in 19 feet of water, approximately 30 to 40 yards off shore.

The victim did not respond after CPR and was pronounced dead on scene at 10:54 a.m. He was identified by the coroner as 15-year-old Dillon Ray Spears of Spartanburg.

Officials with District Five Schools of Spartanburg County confirmed that Spears had just finished 9th grade at Byrnes Freshman Academy and was headed to 10th grade at Byrnes High School in the fall.

Counselors were on hand at the Freshman Academy Monday.

A candlelight vigil was also held Monday.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Turner released a statement on the student's passing:

The District Five family is heartbroken over the loss of yet another
student this year.  Dillon is remembered fondly by former teachers and
will be greatly missed.  Our hearts and prayers are with his family.

No autopsy will be ordered. His manner of death was accidental, the coroner confirmed.

The other swimmer was not harmed.

This incident is under investigation.

Stick with FOX Carolina for any new developments.

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