Officials say an 18-year-old Pelion High School senior drowned Sunday afternoon after he jumped off a bridge at Carson Landing near North.
Marcus Dilanjin Dwyer of Pelion drowned in the North Fork of the Edisto River after he jumped off the U.S. Highway 321 bridge, according to an Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office incident report and a news report by the Lexington Ledger.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said, “It’s been a difficult weekend for all involved. We pray for this family at the loss of so promising a young man. He was set to graduate in a few weeks, popular in school and had only planned for a day of fun at the river that turned tragic. We ask all to pray for this family.
“At this time, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s investigators have found no evidence indicating foul play in the case of this unfortunate incident. While the investigation is ongoing, we do not suspect foul play at this time.”
Dwyer's body was found around 6:25 p.m. 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.
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Another witness informed officials she was sitting on the boat landing and heard a splash. She knew individuals were jumping into the water because she saw them walk up the bridge on U.S. 321 earlier.
She said she didn’t see anyone push Dwyer off the bridge.
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.
Another male witness said Dwyer was seen jumping from the bank of the river and swimming in the water earlier in the day.
A number of individuals arrived at the scene during the search, requiring Springfield Police to come for crowd control.
According to the incident report, Dwyer’s family arrived at the scene.
A family member began punching the ground and it “appeared that he broke his wrist,” the report said.
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.
An impromptu candlelight vigil was held at Pelion High School on Sunday night as students gathered to mourn and remember their friend, the Ledger reported.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources dive team responded to the incident along with other rescue personnel.