Police have confirmed the death of a 14-year-old South Fallsburg boy who drowned while swimming with friends. YNN's John Wagner has the story.
SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- A hot summer's day led a group of Fallsburg teenagers to a secluded pond, formerly an old sand and gravel pit filled in with water. Fellow swimmers and fishers say 14-year-old Dylan Smith began struggling in the water and calling out for help, but they couldn't pull him up out of the water.
"He's a beautiful kid, I'm truly going to miss him," said Shanique Reid, a friend of the Smith family. "He was never disrespectful to me, he always showed love and every time he saw me in my car or the bus he waved."
Divers spent more than two hours searching before pulling out his body. Police will be in touch with the the property owner to keep others from coming back for a swim.
"It is gated here at the entrance, the back is not fenced or anything like that, it does border the Neversink River," said Fallsburg Police Detective Travis Hartman.
The man-made pond runs close to 200 yards long and about 100 feet wide, sitting at the edge of South Fallsburg. Residents say with school out they have no good place for kids to go.
"I watched a lot of these kids grow up," said Shanique Reid. "It's really sad that there's nothing in this community for these kids to do because this type of thing would not happen."
"There's no movies, no parks, no nothing," continued another town of Fallsburg resident, Susan Mead-Didinsky. "If they go to summer rec they have to pay and this is a low-income housing community and people can't afford it and they find their own things to do."
Police will now interview all the swimmers; a number of them say Dylan was full of life and a hard working athlete.
"I'm going to miss that kid," said Reid. "He just told me he was going to play basketball for Fallsburg next school year and I told him that I was going to see him and it's really sad that I'm not going to be able to see him."