UPDATE: School mourns loss of Johnson County teen who drowned in lake

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UPDATE 4/11/16 @ 8:15 a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- After losing a teammate during spring break, Johnson Central High School football players are mourning the loss of Luke Caudill.

"Knowing that he'll never play football again or ever talk to his friends again that's hard to think about," Senior Gunner Slone said.

The 15-year-old freshman was a quarterback on the football team.

Investigators said Caudill drowned in Paintsville Lake early Friday morning when he slipped and fell into the water.

The teammates WSAZ spoke with Monday said they were haunted they weren't there to save him.

"Every one of us would have jumped in," Geordon Blanton said, "We would have raced to see who could get him first."

Johnson Central High School will have grief counselors at the school throughout the week to talk with students.

His friends, taking the time to remember what Luke would have wanted.

"He was just saying let's win a state championship that's what we're gonna set our goal for we're gonna win it for him," Slone said.

The school has a balloon release scheduled on Friday in Caudill's honor.

Visitation is scheduled after 6 p.m. Monday in the in the J.W. Call Funeral Home Chapel. The funeral will be held Tuesday at the R. H. Ratliff Cemetery at Shelbiana Kentucky Interment.



UPDATE 4/11/16 @ 8:15 a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ/WYMT) -- It will be a tough day for many students in Johnson County, Kentucky who will return to school Monday after a classmate died over spring break.

15-year-old Luke Caudill drowned in Paintsville Lake early Friday morning.

Sheriff Dwayne Price says Caudill was a freshman at Johnson Central High School, where he was a quarterback on the football team. He is from Pickle Fork, Kentucky, in the Happy Trail subdivision, Price says.

Authorities tell WSAZ that Caudill was with a group of four to five friends at the time of the accident. We’re told that Caudill slipped and fell in the lake, and the others were not able to save him.

The incident was reported around 4 a.m. Price says they were right off state Route 689 in the Spicelick Branch area of Flat Gap.

Investigators say they are not sure why Caudill and the others were at the lake in the middle of the night.

The sheriff says the students were on spring break.

Visitation will be in the J.W. Call Funeral Home Chapel after 6 p.m. Monday, April 11.

Funeral services are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at the R. H. Ratliff Cemetery in Shelbiana, Kentucky.

Friends, teachers and coaches say Caudill will be missed in the classroom and on the football field.

"He was a hard working individual, took pride in everything that he did," said Justin Arms, Caudill's coach and algebra teacher. "He had an infectious smile that went around the classroom and just brightened up anyone's day that went around him."

Caudill's teammates say he had a promising future in football and was a leader on the team. In the wake of his sudden death, his teammates focused on fond memories of their friend.

"He was hard working and he would always put a smile on your face," said Matthew Horn, Caudill's teammate and friend.

"We would be out here on the field and you would look over and he would just make you laugh," said Gunner Slone, Caudill's teammate and friend. "Coach Matney's making us run or something he would just make you break down and laugh and make it pass a lot faster."

"He was a good leader," said Gerodon Blanton, Caudill's teammate and friend. "He rallied his troops together, got them ready to win, he always had a positive outlook on the game. If you were down, he was going to try to lead you back to a victory and he was ready to do the job."



UPDATE 4/8/16 @ 11:30 a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The body of a 15-year-old boy has been recovered from Paintsville Lake after an apparent drowning.

Deputy Johnson County Coroner Ted Dawson says the victim is Luke Caudill. Sheriff Dwayne Price says Caudill was a freshman at Johnson Central High School. Caudill is from Pickle Fork, Kentucky, in the Happy Trail subdivision, Price says.

Authorities tell WSAZ that Caudill was with a group of four to five friends at the time of the accident. We’re told that Caudill slipped and fell in the lake, and the others were not able to save him.

The incident was reported around 4 a.m. Price says they were right off state Route 689 in the Spicelick Branch area of Flat Gap.

Investigators say they are not sure why Caudill and the others were at the lake in the middle of the night.

The sheriff says the school district is on spring break this week.

Keep clicking on WSAZ mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/8/16 @ 10:28 a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Media reports say the body of young boy has been recovered from Paintsville Lake.

Kentucky State Police tell WSAZ they are on the scene of a possible drowning, but have no other information at this time.

The reports say emergency crews began searching a section of the lake in the Spice Lick area early Friday morning.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



 
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