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Teen drowns in muddy Smith Mountain Lake


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WTVR) – The mother of a Williamsburg teenager who drowned in Smith Mountain Lake over the weekend is speaking out about the loss of her son.

“That was my only child. I’ll never have grandchildren. I don’t look old enough to be a grandma, but I sure wish I could be one at one time,” Denise Staffon said.

Her son, 18-year-old Kelvin, drowned Saturday at Smith Mountain Lake in Western Virginia. Kelvin was boating with his grandmother, girlfriend and friend at the time.

“He jumped out of the boat to come in to swim to shore and as soon as he jumped in, the mud locked on him like quicksand,” Staffon told WTKR in Hampton Roads.

The friend jumped in to save Kelvin, but he too was taken in by the mud and died. Denise was at work when she got the call.

“I just screamed and threw the phone, and I dropped to the ground,” Staffon said.

Making it even more painful was a five-hour car ride to bring her dead son back home.

“As far away as I was, it killed me,” Staffon said. “There he was just laying there, just as handsome as ever.”

Kelvin had just graduated from Bruton High School where he played football. His mother said she can’t stop looking at photos of her late son and thinking about their last words to each other.

“I love you and I said be safe, every time I talked to him, I said ‘I love you and be safe,’” Staffon said.

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