Father of Ft. Bragg drowning victim speaks out

Brenton Briggs

January 4, 2012 2:41:29 PM PST
The father of a teen who died when he became trapped inside his car in a local lake is speaking out. Barry Briggs says it all happened so fast.

Seventeen-year-old Brenton Brigg's father said New Year's Day 2012 is a date that will forever break his heart. It's the day he lost his son in a terrible accident. It's the day he says he lost a friend.

"Me and him used to ride together all the time," said Barry. "I took him to the Monday Night Football game in Atlanta... New Orleans. We used to... just hung out together."

Brenton was a senior at Reid Ross Classical School. On Sunday, Brenton and three of his friends were at Boundary Line Lake, just off McArthur Road on Fort Bragg. His father says it was dark when the group decided to go home. Brenton got into his car by himself and tried to make a three point turn-around on the lake's narrow dirt road.

"Went down to back up on the boat ramp and kind of went down too far and got caught on the algae on the ramp and the car started sliding in," said Barry. "He knows how to swim. He took swimming lesson. But cold water... hypothermia set in. You know your body goes into shock and I think that's what happened."

Barry says Brenton didn't make it out of the car. Rescue workers from Fort Bragg recovered the teenager's body about 40 minutes after the car went under.

For now, Barry cherishes the pictures and the memories of a life that was snuffed out all too soon.

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