MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (KDKA) — Dive crews recovered the body of a teenager from Fayette County who drowned while swimming in a lake in West Virginia.
Ronald Economus, 16, from Point Marion, was swimming with a group in Cheat Lake, W. Va., near Interstate 68 when he did not resurface just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“The whole family’s going through a rough time right now,” Ruben Gomez, Economus’ cousin, said. “It was the least thing we expected. It was just a terrible accident.”
Gomez, who is visiting from Ohio, Economus and five teens traveled to the lake for a swim. A few of the teens were able to get to a pier about 50 yards from land.
Witnesses say they saw Economus struggling before taking a mouthful of water and going under.
Divers from Morgantown and local fire departments found the teenager’s body more than four hours later.
“We had all the resources we could to try to find him,” Cheat Lake Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bowers said.
He says a submarine from Grandville took pictures under the water while 10 divers scoured the area for Economus.
He was found about 20 feet from land. The teen’s death is considered accidental.
Services for Economus will be held at the Maykuth Funeral Home in Masontown.