Family Mourning Teenager Who Drowned on July 4th

Martinsville, VA -- Instead of celebrating this weekend, a local family is preparing funeral arrangements for a teenager who drowned Friday. 18-year-old Kerion Witcher just graduated from high school. But on Friday he went with his family to swim at Fairy Stone State Park and never made it back.

No one would have guessed this could have happened to Kerion since he was such an athlete. His family says he played several sports at Martinsville High School and had so much to look forward to for the future.

Kim Witcher has turned her TV into a tribute for her nephew Kerion who drowned Friday.

"It's terrible to lose my nephew like that," says Kim Witcher.

Kim tells us they started the holiday weekend with a family tradition going to Fairy Stone State Park. She says while most of the group set up Kerion joined a few family members to swim. But soon she noticed crowds gathering by the water.

"Me and my sister went down towards the lake hollering 'where was our boys at?'" says Witcher.

That's when Kim says she realized Kerion was the center of attention.

"My son KJ and my stepdad tried to save my nephew but they couldn't. They couldn't save him," says Witcher.

She suspects he stayed under water for 45 minutes until strangers pulled him out.

"When I seen them pull my nephew out of that water, I knew then that my nephew was dead," says Witcher.

Kim says Kerion planned on enlisting in the army. But now only these pictures and memories of Kerion will live on.

"He will be remembered by his smile and the love that he showed among everyone around him," says Witcher.

His family tells us Kerion's funeral will be Thursday at Martinsville High School.