Family reacts to drowning of local teen in Washington

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT)- A Washington man is dead after he drowned in a pool at a barbecue.

Around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, Pitt County deputies responded with EMS to the 1200 block of Sticks Road to a possible drowning.

When they arrived, deputies made contact with volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel who were on-scene.

A firefighter found a 19-year-old male on the floor of the 12-feet-deep pool. Efforts to resuscitate him failed. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as 19-year-old Ronald Lee Wilson Jr.

9 On Your Side spoke to Wilson Jr.’s cousin about the situation.

Jessica Jones, Wilson Jr.’s cousin, said how difficult this has been for their family. The day was supposed to celebrate the ending of school and Wilson Jr.’s recent graduation.

Now, they are making funeral arrangements. Jones said Wilson Jr. did know how to swim. How he ended up at the bottom of the 12-foot pool is still a mystery. When fire and rescue arrived, they could not resuscitate him. She urges families who have big gatherings to always look out for each other.

“If you got a group, keep doing head counts and make sure you got all your children in front of you, especially when you are dealing with deep pools,” said Jones.

The family continues to ask for prayers as they get through this difficult time.

A group of family and friends were at the home enjoying a barbecue at the time of the incident. While several of the guests were swimming in the backyard pool, someone noticed that the teen was missing. A search was unsuccessful. 911 was quickly called.

The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says the incident appears accidental. However, because no one witnessed the death, detectives are investigating and will talk to the medical examiner Wednesday.

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