Family and friends gathered last night along the bank of the Red River to remember 6 local teenagers who lost their lives in a tragic incident on the river 10 years ago. It was August 2, 2010 when family and friends were having a gathering at the Hamel Memorial Park. The young people were wading in the water off of a sandbar when one of them got swept into water over his head. the other five lost their lives trying to save their family members.

There was a special tribute ceremony last night to honor the teens. The crowd lit balloon lanterns and released them into the sky.

Today, we remember 13-year-old Takeitha Warner along with her brothers Jamarcus Warner and JaTavious Warner, ages 14 and 17. They drowned in the tragedy along with 18-year-old Litrelle Stewart, 17-year-old LaDairus Stewart and 15-year-old Latevin Stewart trying to save their cousin DeKendrix Warner.

None of the teens knew how to swim. Rena Blalock, mother to the Stewarts tells KTAL NBC 6 it’s been ten years from the worst day a parent could ever imagine.

“People see me as a strong person, but I just see myself as just trying to make it,” said Blalock, “Cause most people wouldn’t have survived this tragedy. People have a hard time with one and just to lose three, it’s terrible. Through the grace of God and my family, I made it and I’m still making it.”

From this horrible tragedy came a new program called Project Swim which provides free swimming lessons to folks who could not afford it. Since that time, thousands of young people have learned to swim.

 

10 Live Webcams That Offer a Unique Look at Our World