Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

June 2, 2013

TC West student 3rd to drown at park since '10

TRAVERSE CITY — Owen Williamson’s friends said he could’ve been a star on Saturday Night Live.

He seemed to be on his way. Owen, 17, earned lead roles singing and acting in productions at Traverse City West Senior High, where he was a junior. He remained as humble in his major role as the Beast in the music department’s spring production of “Beauty and the Beast” as he was as a freshman with a small solo in “Phantom of the Opera.”

“He knew that he was talented, but that drove him to take more risks — acting or singing risks,” said fellow West student Hannah Will, 18, who sang with Owen in Chorale and Choral-Aires, a group recognized this year as the top Youth Art Festival ensemble choice. “He strived to just be a better performer.”

Friends and others recalled Owen on Saturday, a day after he drowned while swimming with choir friends at Twin Lakes Park in Grand Traverse County’s Long Lake Township. Owen was the third person to drown at the lake since 2010.

Owen and about 10 others stopped at the park off Long Lake Road on Friday around 4 p.m. for a quick dip before a graduation party. The majority of the group swam from the main beach to another beach area, while a few others and Owen, who was not a strong swimmer, stayed behind in the water where they could stand, Will said.

The swimmers walked back on a trail when a friend called out that Owen was nowhere to be found.

“I assumed they had their backs turned for a brief moment and turned around and he wasn’t there anymore,” Will said.

A friend swam out and found Owen, then pulled him to the surface, but he was already unconscious, Will said. Grand Traverse sheriff’s deputies and Long Lake Township firefighters reached him with an inflatable boat and rope and attempted to revive him at the shore. He was sent to Munson Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl