The drowning death of an 18-year-old Pelion High School senior is "classified as accidental," the Orangeburg County Coroner's Office announced Tuesday.

The body of Marcus Dilanjin Dwyer of Pelion underwent an autopsy on Monday, according to the announcement.

"Autopsy results show that Mr. Dwyer's cause of death was drowning,” the coroner’s office said.

Dwyer drowned in the North Fork of the Edisto River after he jumped off the Carson Landing bridge on U.S. Highway 321, according to an Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office incident report and a news report by the Lexington Ledger.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell has said investigators found no evidence indicating foul play.

Dwyer's body was found around 6:25 p.m. Sunday about 2-1/2 hours after he went under, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The report says two other males jumped in the river before Dwyer. They encouraged him to jump in after them, a witness said.

He jumped in the river at about 3:48 p.m. Dwyer then began swimming toward the two males already in the water.

When he approached them, he began to struggle with one of the males, who was pushing Dwyer away, the witness said in the incident report.

The witness said this pushing continued in the water until the male was able to get away.

The witness said she began calling out for Dwyer “because he went under water and she could not see him.”

The other male then swam toward the landing area, which is several yards from the bridge, and began looking for Dwyer, the witness said.

They called 911.

One male told law enforcement he and another male jumped off the bridge and then started swimming until they reached a grassy area a few yards from the bridge.

When Dwyer jumped into the river and swam up to them he, “began pulling on their shorts and grabbing at them,” the male said.

The male “initially thought Dwyer was 'playing around' and was not serious,” according to the report.

The male then saw Dwyer go under the water and not come back up, the report states.

According to the Lexington Ledger, Dwyer played football and was a popular student who had just attended his senior prom and was preparing to graduate.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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