Lake Weir Drowning
It's one of the popular recreational lakes in North Central Florida, but it's also has seen a fair share of tragedy.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lake Weir claimed a 12 year old drowning victim, after a man drowned last Labor Day and two people drowned last summer.
Witnesses say it happened too fast.
They say the family of six was playing in the water when the unimaginable happened, 12 year old Zakiyah Dowdy drowned. The first thing they saw, a family member screaming for help.
"It was kind of crazy, scary," Kayla Johnson a witness to the drowning says.
Scary for this witness Kayla Johnson as she watched family members waiting for rescue workers to retrieve the body of their young relative.
"It was just nerve wracking, I felt bad for the family," Johnson said.
Johnson says she and her friends were on the shore when an unknown woman asked to use her cell phone.
"An adult and a couple of children were pulling kids out the water and yelling for help" Johnson recalled.
Marion County deputies say the six family members were enjoying themselves when two girls, cousins, Zakiyah Dowdy and Joyisa Reid were swimming in twelve feet of water near Gator Joe's.
"And there's a shelf there that drops off that this family is not familiar with this lake," Jennifer Lowe with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.
Investigators say the chaperone saw the girls were having some trouble swimming and asked anyone for help.
"The water was pushing to the right and I walked out and I was trying to help find the girls and the lady was like you need to go down to the right cause that's where the current pushed her," Crystal Allen another witness, told TV20.
Family members were able to save Joyisa Reid, but Dowdy didn't make it.
"You come out here to try and have a good time and something like this happens and my prayers and thoughts go out to the family cause I know its really hard," Allen said.
Witnesses say it will take a while before they can actually digest what happened. Detectives are still investigating the actual cause of the drowning.
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