Teen drowns in pond

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Authorities are investigating the apparent drowning of a teenager that occurred Monday afternoon in the Clarkson community.

Webster County Coroner Steve Wells identified the victim as Jason Modzelewski, 15, of Spring Valley Road in Mathiston.

Wells said he was swimming with friends at 7535 Clarkson Road about 3 p.m. when “he got into trouble and went down.” His friends were unable to locate him and bring him up, according to Wells. He said members of the Clarkson Volunteer Department, after responding, were able to recover the body.

“When we arrived on scene, they had him out, giving him CPR,” Sheriff Tim Mitchell said in a television interview. “Of course, nothing could be done. They couldn’t bring him back. It’s a tragic situation.”

Wells, who pronounced the youth dead about 4:20 p.m., said the drowning is believed to have been an accident but an autopsy is being performed to rule out any unknown contributing factors. An investigation is being conducted by the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, county coroner, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Webster 911 paged out the county dive team at 3:20 p.m. to respond, but Barry Rushing, county emergency management director, said the divers did not have to go into the water. North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora EMS also responded, as did units from the sheriff’s office.

Jason, the son of John and Darlene Modzelewski, would have been an eighth-grader this year at East Webster High School.

Oliver Funeral Home of Eupora is handling arrangements, which were incomplete as of Tuesday morning.