Authorities identify teen who drowned in Hyrum State Park, boy’s uncle speaks

Posted at 9:06 PM, Jul 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-13 00:20:42-04

HYRUM STATE PARK, Utah – Authorities identified the teen who drowned at the reservoir at Hyrum State Park Wednesday night after a he went under and didn't resurface, and on Saturday the boy's uncle spoke about the young man.

Lt. Doyle Peck of the Cache County Sheriff’s Office said 14-year-old Tucker Smith from American Fork was swimming with his family at the park when he went under the water around 7:30 p.m.

The boy's uncle, Chad Anderson, said Tucker was the kind of person who liked to help others, by doing things like taking neighbor's trash cans from the street back to their home. The man said the family is struggling with funeral costs and have set up fundraising efforts through GoFundMe and at American Fork Bank under Tucker's name. See the video above for his interview.

Cache County deputies said Smith became fatigued swimming from the west bank to the east bank and tried to turn back. He panicked and didn't make it back to shore.

According to state park officials, the boy was in water with an estimated depth of 15 to 30 feet and was between 10 and 20 feet from the shore in the southwest end of the lake. The teen was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

Crews searched the water but officials said around 9:15 p.m. that dive teams were making their way out of the water and that personnel on scene would be meeting to coordinate the recovery plan.

At about 9:30 p.m. deputies found the boy's body in about eight feet of water close to 15 feet from the shore.

“This is a sad situation highlighting the need to know your physical limits and to swim within those boundaries,"Utah State Parks Lt. Eric Stucki said.