Teen drowns at Auburn, AL state park

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - According to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, Auburn Police responded to a 911 call Saturday at Chewacla State Park--located off Shell Toomer Parkway.

Auburn Police and emergency officials arrived around 7:30 p.m. to find a teenage victim in the lake.

Witnesses say Russell Carter and 19-year-old Jessica Simmons, of Montgomery, were at the park swimming with friends.

They had decided to take one last swim before going home after the storm blew through Auburn and entered the water.

Carter began to have problems and called for help. An unidentified individual jumped in to rescue Carter and as he was being pulled to the shore, Simmons was swept over the dam at the lake.

Police, fire, EMS and park officials immediately began a search below the dam.

The water was very high and swift due to the heavy rainfall that had just passed through the area. After a two-hour search, Simmons was located approximately 50 yards below the dam and was not breathing.

CPR was immediately initiated and she was rushed to East Alabama Medical Center ER in Opelika. Hospital personnel tried to revive the teen, but their efforts were unsuccessful. 

Simmons was pronounced dead at 10:50 p.m.

Coroner Bill Harris says it appears that Simmons suffered a head injury during the incident. Her body has been taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a postmortem examination.

No foul play is suspected at this time. The case is being treated as an accident.

The Auburn Police, Lee County Coroner, and Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences are investigating the incident. 

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