HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Friends of a South Florida teen who drowned in a lake gathered to hold a memorial Friday in his honor.
Police said Davonte Macklin, a student at Hialeah Miami Senior High School, jumped off a bridge in McDonald Park and drowned in the water below. It was an afternoon of fun with friends in the Hialeah park that took an unexpected turn for the teen who ended up being airlifted to the hospital.
On Friday, he would have celebrated his 18th birthday. Instead, those closest to him mourned his death as they gathered at the park 2:30 p.m.
The 17-year-old was at McDonald Park, off West 74th Street and West 10th Avenue, with friends when they decided to go into the lake, according to Hialeah Police spokesman Eddie Rodriguez.
Macklin jumped from a bridge into the water but never surfaced. When his friends couldn’t find him they called 911. Rodriguez said from the time the call came in to the time police divers pulled the boy’s body was pulled out of the water, nearly 30 minutes had elapsed.
Hialeah Fire Rescue paramedics performed CPR on the Macklin then placed an oxygen mask over his face and wheeled him to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue chopper when it arrived. The teen was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, but was later pronounced dead.
His friend said Macklin was a great person.
“He’s funny, like he was always smiling, he was always straight with everybody, never got in a fight with no one, he was always smiling,” said the teen’s friend Simon Camacho.
A facebook page was set up to honor Macklin.
This was not the first time there’s been a tragic accident in the park involving teens jumping from the bridge.
On April 20th of this year a teenage boy drowned under similar circumstances.
Marceon Butler, 15, and two friends jumped off the bridge into the lake but Butler never surfaced.
Witnesses said the Butler’s friends dove under the water but couldn’t help their friend. They called 911 and two Hialeah police dive teams searched the lake but couldn’t find anything.
“They did search the complete lake and said it was clear,” Captain Ceaser Espinosa with the Hialeah Police Department said. “They found nothing.”
Police called CBS4 to ask for a little help from Chopper 4′s camera above the scene.
Moments later, one diver could be seen diving deep near a bridge and then coming up with a Butler, who was unconscious. A large number of fire rescue personnel then pulled Butler out of the water and placed him on a stretcher.
Paramedics quickly began performing CPR as he was rushed to a waiting ambulance, but it was too late to save him.