Dr. Derek Lindsey

Dr. Derek Lindsey (Provided by Clemson Animal Hospital)

CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) - Clemson Animal Hospital announced on Facebook Thursday that Dr. Derek Lindsey, a loved veterinarian, has passed away.

Lindsey was severely injured in a swimming accident over the weekend. 

The Oconee County Coroner says that Dr. Lindsey tried to locate some missing sunglasses and never resurfaced from the water. He was found minutes later by a neighbor and pulled from the water.

He was transported to the hospital, but unfortunately passed away. The coroner ruled the manner of his death as accidental. 

A COMMUNITY GRIEVES 

Within hours his employees, longtime clients and even strangers started praying and trying to come up with a way to help.

Inside the Clemson Animal Hospital, employees are doing everything they can to stay busy.

Trying to keep their minds off of their boss and friend Dr. Lindsey not being there.

"He does a lot of pro bono work," said Jenifer Sweat. "We do have an animal rescue that he helps support."

His employees said the animal hospital meant everything to him. He'd been the owner for 16 years.

"There's been a lot of animals who may have been put down without a second look, he says 'let's try this and we'll try it'," Sweat said.

His love for his community, both two and four-legged is clear.

"Family is everything to him whether it's the work family, or his personal family," employees said. "A lot of our clients are considered family."

We're told Lindsey leaves behind a wife and two daughters, 13 and 15-years-old.

His wife previously released this statement before his passing: "He is a strong and compassionate veterinarian, friend, son, brother, husband, and father.”

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