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Coroner identifies teen who died in tragic accident that devastates family, friends and community

Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – A freak accident has claimed the life of a teen in the Swansea community and devastated his family, friends and the entire area Friday morning. The teen, identified by Coroner Margaret Fisher as Chase Cathey, 16, of Gaston, died doing what country boys do, going fishing with a friend on a beautiful morning.

It was wonderful outside Friday morning; a perfect day for two country boys to try and land a lunker. The teens were riding in a soft-top Jeep, close friends headed to a spot they thought might fill a stringer.

According to Coroner Fisher, Chase and his friend were driving on private property. Chase was unable to see any upcoming wash due to tall grass in the area, and the Jeep he was driving slid down an embankment into a small body of water. It had accumulated from the spillway of the pond. The Jeep came to rest on its side, submerged in the water.

Rescuers responded from several Lexington County agencies. By the time the Chase was located and freed, he had passed away. People who were on the scene said the friend who lived through the accident was absolutely in shock and devastated at the loss of his buddy.

Word around the close-knit community of Swansea spread quickly via social media. Even though Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher responded personally and tried to compassionately comfort those close to the surviving teen and the dead boy’s family, they were inconsolable.

These were boys who were apparently just looking to get out of the house after sheltering in place during this virus lockdown. Friends spending some quality time together. This is what most parents of teen boys hope their children are interested in doing. In this case, God just decided to call one of the pair home to be with him.

In an unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty, this family, his friends and the community will surely find some way to grieve the boy’s death collectively. Now, the community can only help by praying for those who mourn his loss. Even though his family certainly deserve our prayers, a special prayer should be said for the boy who lived and was traumatized by the loss of his close friend.

While we pray for those who loved this young man, we must also include those professionals who just were doing their jobs when this tragic accident occurred. This includes the EMS personnel, the firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, Coroner Margaret Fisher and her staff, the SC state troopers, and everyone else involved. Although we will struggle to understand this loss, God has a plan for Chase, this “Good Ole’ Boy” who was just going fishing with a friend.

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