UTAH COUNTY, Utah, June 26, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the identity of a teenager who drowned Friday evening while swimming in Spring Lake with a friend.
The victim was 19-year-old Weston Lane Peterson, of Fairview.
Spring Lake, an unincorporated community in Utah County, is between Payson and Santaquin.
“Weston began to struggle and a bystander on shore swam out to help him,” a statement from the UCSO says. “The woman Weston was swimming with also began to struggle. The bystander attempted to swim back to shore with Weston and the woman, but he was unable to take both of them.
“When the bystander took the woman to shore, Weston slipped beneath the surface of the water and did not come back up.”
Crews were called to the scene at 6:44 p.m. Those who arrived included Utah County Sheriff’s deputies, Utah County Search and Rescue (SAR) team members, and Payson Fire and Ambulance.
SAR team members immediately got in the water and began looking for Peterson, the UCSO statement says.
“They used probe poles to search the bottom of the lake below where Weston was last seen. SAR divers also entered the water and began searching below the surface. Visibility in the water was near zero, so the search by divers was largely by hand.”
SAR officials contacted Ty Hunter, boating program manager with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, and he responded with an Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
“After searching with the ROV, Hunter identified something in the water that needed to be checked more closely. At about 10:55 p.m., SAR divers responded to that area and located Weston’s body in about 10 feet of water. His body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office, where they will conduct an examination.
“The Sheriff’s Office wishes to extend our deepest condolences to Weston’s family at his loss.”
A GoFundMe account has been established with the stated goal of paying funeral expenses.
“He was gone to soon,” it says. “He lived his life like a true cowboy. He lived for the mountains and the many hours spent on his horse and hunting. We will miss him greatly and hope to honor him with the memorial he deserves.”