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Friends, family in disbelief over drowning of Charlotte-area teen

William Dawson

William Dawson

MANSFIELD, Ohio — Friends and family said they’re in disbelief after Kings Mountain teenager William Dawson drowned while swimming in a pond in Ohio.

Cleveland County Schools officials told WSOC-TV that William Dawson was a student at Kings Mountain High School.

The teenager, who completed his sophomore year, was visiting his grandparents in Mansfield, Ohio for the summer.

On Monday, Dawson was swimming in a pond with his sister when authorities said he drowned.

Neighbors can’t believe their friend who lived to fish and be near the water died the way he did.

“He loved to fish that was his thing,” said Ashley Proctor, a friend. “Fishing, making anybody laugh, smile just being himself. He didn’t care what other people thought. He was always himself.”

Sylvia Stewart lives near Dawson’s family and said he wasn’t like other students.

“When I think about it, I just can’t get it out of my mind,” Stewart said.

Dawson’s mother said her son had been swimming in cargo pants when, for some reason, he started going under.

Authorities found his body in 18-feet deep, 55-degree water.

His mother said the family was worried about how much it was going to cost to fly their son back to North Carolina but US Airways will send the body home free of cost.

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