18-year-old drowns at Pickwick Landing State Park


HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — A fun day at the lake turns to tragedy.

“It was right at 2 p.m. when we received the 911 call about a possible drowning at Pickwick Lake,” Hardin County Fire Chief and EMA Director Melvin Martin said.

Chief Martin said his crews rushed to the scene hoping for the best.

“We had him recovered after an hour, but unfortunately after that long time under water there was nothing we could do for him,” Martin said.

LaDarrian Holmes, 18, was pulled from the lake. Officials said he was visiting from Memphis with a group of family and friends..

“They have an area where if you stay behind the buoy it’s only about four feet deep, so it’s not that deep. He did not have a life jacket on and he was swimming further out in the lake,” Martin said.

Signs are posted warning tourists there is no lifeguard on duty.

Officials said Holmes was found in water as deep as 15 feet.

“Every year we see a rise in the number of incidents and calls,” Martin said.

So far this year, three people have died in the waters of Pickwick State Park.

Chief Martin says to not let the calm waters fool you and always be aware of the dangers underneath.

“Be careful. Know where you are at. Know the water you are in if you are swimming and, if at all possible, wear a life jacket,” Martin said.

Martin said as we approach Memorial Day, his department and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will have extra boats out making sure you and your family remain safe.

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