Friends tried to save teen who drowned in Harnett pond
Posted May 25, 2015
Updated May 26, 2015
Lillington, N.C. — A teen drowned Monday evening while swimming in a pond near Lillington, authorities said.
Seven friends were swimming to an island in the pond on Flyway Drive, off U.S. Highway 421 west of Lillington, when one of them started having trouble and went underwater.
Josh Ferraro, 16, said he tried to save his friend.
"I was pulling him up, and I actually grabbed him by his head to pull him up. When he went back down, I started grabbing him again, and he pulled me down with him," Ferraro said, noting that he had to let go at that point. "It was that quick."
Friends identified the dead teen as 18-year old Justice Clark, a senior at Harnett Central High School.
The school's student government issued the following tweet late Monday: "Harnett Central lost a remarkable student. Please keep the Clark Family in your prayers."
Ferraro said he thinks Clark panicked in the water.
"It was horrible. I hate it," he said. "I tried my best to save him."
Rescuers were able to recover the body quickly because Ferraro and others pointed them to the exact spot where their friend went underwater.
Ferraro said Clark's death still hasn't set in for him and his friends.
"We will make it through, but it's rough. It's rough," he said.
Another Harnett Central High student drowned in the same pond five years ago.