A late afternoon swim in a private pond off Centennial Avenue on the outskirts of Radcliff turned tragic Thursday when a teenager drowned in the pond’s murky waters.
The pond is about 100 yards off Centennial Avenue by a gravel road with a mobile home to the side of the road.
As word spread along the quiet street, Thornton’s family and friends cried, hugged and sat in disbelief, some needing help to walk up the gravel road.
“This is a tough one,” Lee said.
When Amy Strain, who lives in the mobile home, heard frantic screams, she called 911 and her husband, Aaron, ran down to the pond and jumped into the water to look for Thornton.
“I came out to smoke a cigarette and heard screams,” Aaron said. “I took off and got in the water.”
Thornton was swimming with three others. At least two of them were males.
Aaron said there was a deflated flotation device in the pond with a rope on it. Officials didn’t know Thursday night if Thornton could swim or not.
“I’ve never heard of anyone trying to swim in it,” Aaron said of the pond.
He said he was in the water for about 10 minutes.
“I’m not a very good swimmer,” he said.
Bryce Shumate, Hardin County Emergency Management director, said the 911 call came in at 5:44 p.m.
“I just heard a lot of screaming and I knew it had to be bad,” Amy said. “He’s a sweet little boy.”
She said she gave him a ride a few weeks ago when it was raining.
It also was heavily raining Thursday afternoon as the group swam in the pond that spanned about three-quarters of an acre. Officials said the deepest point of the pond was about 10 feet.
“It’s just a sad thing to see,” Amy said.
Radcliff Fire and Police departments, Vine Grove Fire Department, Fort Knox Fire Department, Hardin County EMS, Hardin County Emergency Management and the Hardin County Coroner’s Office all responded to the scene.