'It's just a bad situation': North Johnston Middle School student drowns in private pond

PINE LEVEL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Johnston County Sheriff's Office have identified 14-year-old Carlos Reyes as the teenager who drowned in a pond along US 70 Business West. He came to the pond after school to swim with friends.

"It's just a bad situation. That young man lost his life," Pine Level resident Jimmy Garner said .

Garner was home Tuesday afternoon when he heard emergency crews rushing to the scene.

"Just sirens and stuff and later on through the day I had heard about it through news media," Garner said.

Reyes was swimming with friends who got out the water to call police when he needed help. He was a student at North Johnston Middle School. According to the school district, grief counselors are on hand today.

"Everybody thinks it's a calm place. It can also be a very scary place if you don't know what you're dealing with," Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Director Laura Crumpler said.

According to Crumpler, you should always designate someone to be a water watcher first and consider your swimming ability before jumping in.

"Whether its clear water, whether you're jumping in with people. Whether you're jumping off the block or into a darker situation. What's underneath the surface that you can't see. You always want to be aware of your surroundings," she said.

Each year people across North Carolina lose their lives in various bodies of water. That's why she says swim lessons are critical.

"If you missed the boat and they are 5, 8 or 14, go ahead and get your child formal swim lessons," said Crumpler.

ABC11 is working to identify who owns the private pond that claimed the life of Reyes, but Commissioner Richard Braswell told me he owns the land next to it.

"It's sad for the community. Sad for the family. Sad anytime a life is loss especially a 14 year old kid," said Garner.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.