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Teen who drowned in Fort Bragg lake identified

Posted January 3, 2012

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— The 17-year-old who drowned in a lake on Fort Bragg property late Sunday was identified Tuesday as a senior at Reid Ross Classical School.

Brenton Briggs was at Boundary Line Lake with a group of teens, Principal Tom Hatch said. The car they were in started sliding off a boat ramp into the water, and Briggs couldn't escape in time, Hatch said.

No other injuries were reported.

Brenton Briggs, drowned in Fort Bragg lake Respected Fayetteville student drowns in lake

"(They were) just celebrating New Year's, taking in the sunset (and) taking pictures," Hatch said. "(The car) lost tracking and went into the water, and he wasn't able to get out of the vehicle. He was the only person in the vehicle when it happened."

A member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Briggs planned to enroll at North Carolina A&T State University and eventually join the military, the principal said.

A school-sponsored event to remember Briggs drew about 175 students Tuesday night.

"Brenton was well liked by the senior class here at Reid Ross," Hatch said. "You could see him interacting with his classmates. There might be a serious issue going on, and as soon as he walked to the table, you could see them laughing, you know. They would look at him, and he would have a smile on his face."

The lake, which is off of McArthur Road, is in an open area of Fort Bragg, meaning that it's accessible to the public without having to go through a security checkpoint.

Members of the Army Criminal Investigative Command and Fort Bragg military police are investigating the incident.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Wendellcatlover Jan 4, 2012

    It's so tragic to lose a promising young life any time, but to lose one so senselessly makes it even worse. I've never heard of a parked car just rolling...did the brakes fail? While he was in the car, did he accidentally knock it into gear? There certainly wasn't any ice for it to slide on...We may never know. I most certainly am praying for the family and friends of this young kid, and doubly hard for those who actually witnessed it. God bless you all!

  • wizakid Jan 3, 2012

    Very sorry for the family and friends of this young man. Prayers for strength and peace. God be with you.

  • SouthernGirlJD Jan 3, 2012

    prayers for his family. That is so sad...

  • p8ingbyfaith2 Jan 3, 2012

    That is so sad.....prayers are with the familey

  • mchljam2 Jan 3, 2012

    Prayers for the family, so very sad!!

  • Glass Half Full Jan 3, 2012

    I imagine it was one of the others present who called 911. This lake is down a dirt road, but accessible to the public. There aren't "passersby" down there, especially at night. Either you're down there partying or you're not.

  • djofraleigh Jan 3, 2012

    Drownings happen in a minute of panic...tragedy.

  • djofraleigh Jan 3, 2012

    In my teens, my cousin "parked" on a concrete boat ramp in winter, after a rain, the water froze under the tires and the car slowly slid into the water without he or his girlfriend realizing it. Not until the rear wheels went into the water did it stop, and there he was, in the dark, half in the lake, in a time without cell phones. He was saved by a 'good ole boy' in a pick-up who carried a chain for such things. Of course, come Monday morning it was all over the school.

  • nadianye Jan 3, 2012

    Sad..From the way the story is written it sounds like others were involved..Why was 911 not called and from other stories a passerby saw the car and called.

  • anneonymousone Jan 3, 2012

    How dreadful. My best thoughts are with this young man's friends and family, as well as the first responders and school personnel.