Another Teen Drowns At Local Swimming Hole


by Audrina Bigos
by Photographer: Darnell Hart

MOORESVILLE, NC -- A day trip to the Carrigan Farms rock quarry in Mooresville on Tuesday turned tragic for 19-year-old Ryan Hayes from Harrisburg.

"He jumped in with his friends all at the same time and then just didn't resurface," said Meg Watson, a Mooresville resident.

Someone at the quarry called police after hearing the NC State student screaming for help and witnessing him go under water.

"Parents jumped in, people jumped in that could swim well, but the water was very murky so we couldn't see anything," said Watson.

"With the water around here, we don't have that great of a window to work with," said Charlotte Fire Battalion Chief Dale Brown.

Divers from the Charlotte Fire Department found Hayes' body 25 feet under water. Officials say they don't know what caused him to drown.

A sign posted at the entrance to the quarry says “Swim at your own risk,” but the family of a local teenager who drowned there 13 years ago says the swimming hole needs lifeguards or some supervision for visitors.

"I knew someone else would drown down there. It's just a death trap," said Antonio Mcconnuighey, a Mooresville resident.

Mcconnuighey's cousin, 18 year-old Lamar Caldwell, jumped in and drowned at the hole.

"For this to happen to him and then 13 years later happen to someone around the same age as him. My heart goes out to their family because I know what they're going through," said Mcconnuighey.

Caldwell's family tried for years to get the Carrigan Farms quarry shut down or force management to add lifeguards, but they had no luck.

 "I think if that would have went through, I think this kid never would have died," said  Mcconnuighey.

The quarry is a private swimming area with limited open swim days.

A statement on the Carrigan Farms website says, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased.”

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