Teen drowns swimming with friends on Mountain Island Lake

slyttle@charlotteobserver.comJune 11, 2014 

— A 19-year-old drowned Tuesday evening while swimming with friends at Mountain Island Lake, according to Gaston County authorities.

Police have not released the name of the victim, but according to multiple reports, he was a senior at East Gaston High School.

If so, it would mark the third time in less than two weeks that a high school senior in the Charlotte area died in an accident.

The drowning apparently took place about 6:30 p.m., authorities said. They said the youths got access to the lake near the Mount Holly Water Treatment Plant, an area that is not open to swimming.

The teen reportedly jumped in the water but did not come back up. Gaston County investigators said the friends waited two hours before calling 911, but they are not sure why the teens waited that long.

Tuesday was the end of the school year, and graduation for East Gaston High is Saturday. On Sunday, another Gaston County high school senior, 18-year-old Arielle Reid, was killed when a car driven by her father crashed near Mount Holly. Reid was a student at Highland Tech.

And on June 1, Porter Ridge High senior Samantha Windham, 17, of Indian Trail, died in a single-vehicle crash in Union County.

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