LOUISA, Va. (WTVR)–It’s just a week after school let out but Louisa teenager Brandon Coleman won’t see his senior year.
His father says he told his son Monday not to play in the lake but says like any typical teen, his boy didn’t heed the warning and subsequently drowned.
Wiping away tears while talking to Louisa County Sheriff’s Dept. Maj. Donnie Lowe, Kennedy Coleman says he can’t believe his son is gone.
“They blame themselves. They’re angry,” Coleman said, referring to his son’s friends.
“It’s a hard to pill to swallow, you know?” said Coleman. “We just had a drowning yesterday and today? Hard pill to swallow when it’s your child.”
Monday’s tragedy was on Lake Anna, involving 6-year-old Asa Gayle from Richmond. Just over 24 hours later, the body of 17-year-old Brandon Coleman was recovered from Lake Louisa in the Trevilians part of the county.
Coleman was swimming from a platform about 40 yards out. He was in distress and deputies say unfortunately, his friends thought he was joking. “According to witnesses he did yell, “help!” said Lowe. “But he was laughing, and then he went underwater and never came back up.”
Rescue crews tried to resuscitate the teen but with no luck. In front of a gathering crowd of friends, the teen was pronounced dead at the scene.
His father sat on the tailgate of his truck staring at the water. He wears a tattoo with his son’s name. He said they were both Redskins’ fans and that his son had talked about going to their new training camp in Richmond this summer. That’s just one of many things his dad says he’ll miss.
“He was a funny kid, got along with anybody. He’d make people laugh,” said Coleman. “We had our ups and downs but that’s part of parenting, I guess.”
The water, the flashing blue lights, dive teams and consoling talks, deputies say the streak of tragedy in Louisa, needs to come to an end.
“It’s hard to describe our feelings,” said Lowe. “It’s been a tough week on rescuers, deputies, dispatchers and me. No matter how much you see it, it never gets easier.”
Brandon Coleman’s body has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s office in Richmond for an autopsy. Deputies are trying to see if he had a medical emergency because his father says his son could swim.