by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:
FAIRFIELD COUNTY - Tragedy struck a Chester County family for the second time in two years Friday.
Officials confirmed Jeramie Coleman,14, drowned while swimming with his family at Wateree Lake State Park in Fairfield County.
On Saturday Channel 9 talked with the victim’s family outside their Great Falls home.
Jeramie’s sister said he was peer pressured into swimming out to a buoy that was far from shore and where the water was much deeper.
Channing Coleman said she watched her brother slip off the buoy and go under the water.
“My mother and some other people tried to swim out to him,” said Channing. “One woman actually got to him but wasn’t able to pull him to safety.”
Officials said someone called 911 around 6:30 p.m.
A dive team also responded and recovered Jeramie’s body from beneath the water approximately an hour after the initial call for help.
Officials told Channel 9 the water where Jeramie’s body was recovered is approximately 16 feet deep.
“I still can’t believe he’s dead,” said Jasmine Cohen, Jeramie’s sister.
Channel 9 learned Jeramie is one of nine siblings, had turned 14 just days ago, was about to start high school, loved sports and was strong in his faith.
“He would always pray with me,” said Jasmine. “He was a good brother.”
Jasmine also said Jeramie was peer pressured into trying to swim a long distance to the buoy. She wants his death to be a lesson to others.
“He had to prove them wrong and he drowned,” said Jasmine. “It’s not worth dying.”
The family said this marks the second tragedy in their family over the past two years.
In 2012 London Coleman, Jeramie’s father, was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Investigators said he was walking on the side of a road not far from his house. Police have yet to track down the driver responsible for his death.
The family is still finalizing funeral services for Jeramie.