Boy swimming with family drowns at state park

07/26/2014 2:03 PM

07/26/2014 2:04 PM

A Chester County teenager is dead after officials say he drowned at Lake Watreee on Friday evening.

Jeramie Coleman, of Great Falls, who just turned 14 on July 20, was swimming with his family at Lake Wateree State Park in Winnsboro at about 6:30 p.m. when he swam out too far and began struggling against the water, said Fairfield County Coroner Barkley Ramsey.

Bystanders tried rescuing Coleman but were unsuccessful, Ramsey said. The teen went under the water, he said, and was not recovered until an hour after he was last seen.

Family members said that when his father was killed two years ago by a hit-and-run driver, Coleman comforted the family, cooking and cleaning and helping his mother care for his eight other siblings.

A preliminary cause of death has been determined to be asphyxia due to drowning, Ramsey said.

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