18-year-old drowns at Houghs Neck in Quincy
QUINCY, Mass. (WHDH) -- In the spot where a young man disappeared beneath the water, young friends gather to remember. Hours earlier, Lamar Thompson's picture was taken for the last time only moments before he jumped off a pier and drowned.
“In that hospital seeing him lying in that bed and I can't do nothing to help him. Made me feel weak. I just cry,” said Mark Thompson, Lamar’s father.
Mark Thompson’s 18-year-old son couldn't be saved by the Quincy rescue teams that raced toward the water- following a frantic 9-1-1 call.
“He's under the water. There are people looking for him but I don't know where he is,” a friend cried to the 911 operator.
“My daughter was down there with Lamar and she called me on the phone hysterical,” said Joe McCardle, Thompson’s neighbor.
The 18-year-old man had recently moved from Jamaica to live with his family in Quincy. Police said he could swim but at some point he became overwhelmed in the water.
“The individual began to swim to the other dock. He experienced distress. Friends tried to help but weren't able to. Unfortunately he went under the water,” said Sgt. Greg Goyette of the Quincy Police Department.
Thompson's family said he was a weak swimmer and that he had headed to the water to cool off with a fifteen-year-old neighbor. The neighbor's father said she tried to help him when he began to struggle.
“They went for a swim and Lamar wasn't that strong a swimmer. He panicked,” said Joe McCardle, a Thompson family neighbor.
“She said she held on to him but he kind of panicked and splashed off then the tide came in and pulled him away,” said Mark Thompson.
Divers searched the water and found Thompson twelve feet deep. They pulled his body to shore with his father watching from the same place where friends are left grieving.
“My family is taking it hard because he so young. We never had anyone so young die in the family before,” said Mark Thompson.
Police said there was a small current - and the tide was going out around the time Thompson drowned.
“He was a very, very happy kid. Always smiling,” said McCardle.