Teenager drowns near LaGrange

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 13, 2000

A 15-year-old Natchez Middle School student drowned Sunday evening following a boating accident.

Eric Singleton of 22 Montgomery Road was fishing with two friends in a pond on private property when the accident happened.. The boys were enjoying the last day of spring break.

Singleton and another boy were fishing from a small aluminum boat as the third boy fished from shore.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;They were getting ready to go when he stood up on the front and water started coming in,&uot; said Adams County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Andy Yates. &uot;I guess they got scared that the boat was going to sink, so they jumped out of the boat.&uot;

Yates said both boys knew how to swim, but neither was wearing a life vest.

One boy managed to swim the 15 to 20 yards ashore, but Singleton struggled in the water.

&uot;I think he panicked and the water was so cold,&uot; he said.

&uot;(The other boy) got back up on the bank and realized his buddy wasn’t with him,&uot;&160;Yates explained. &uot;So he took his shoes off and went back out after (Singleton).&uot;

Yates said the rescue effort was futile.

&uot;(Singleton) was panicking and started pushing the other boy back under,&uot; Yates said. &uot;He backed away and they saw him go under. He did everything he could do to save him.&uot;

The third boy on the bank couldn’t swim, but ran for help.

Sheriff’s deputies received the call at 5:16 p.m.

Crews from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the Natchez Fire Department and Med Express Ambulance responded to the scene.

Fire department personnel recovered Singleton’s body after searching for more than an hour.

The pond, located on Wyatt Road directly across from LaGrange subdivision was leased by the boys’ fathers for hunting.

&uot;(The boys) fished out there all the time,&uot; Yates said. &uot;From what I understand these boys had been friends for a long, long time.

&uot;It was a definite tragedy for the friends and the families.&uot;