Dougherty students remember classmate after drowning -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty students remember classmate after drowning


Friends and classmates of a rising Dougherty High School sophomore are mourning his death just a week before the start of school.
The marching band member is being remembered as a talented and fun-loving student.

Band practice went on as scheduled Tuesday morning at Dougherty High, but under sad circumstances after the loss of one of its members.

16-year-old Benny Davis drowned Monday afternoon in a Henry County lake, south of Atlanta.

"Now that he's gone, it's painful," says Principal Ryan Gravitt.

Gravitt is new to the school and just recently met the rising 10th grader who played in the percussion line for the Marching Trojan band.

"He had a big smile on his face and he came up and welcomed me to Dougherty High and it really meant a lot that he and his friends had done that," recalls Gravitt.

The news of Davis' death came as shock to those who knew Davis.

Officials say he was in McDonough, Georgia visiting a friend when he jumped off a dock into Lake Dow a little after 4:30 in the afternoon and never resurfaced.

Members of a dive team later found his body in about 15 feet of water. Tuesday morning band members who knew Davis shared memories of a friend lost too soon.

One student said, "Y'all know Benny wouldn't want us grieving like this. He was a jokester, at times, and always made them smile and laugh."

Grief counselors have been made available for students.

Authorities still aren't sure what caused Davis to drown.

There are "no swimming" signs posted at the lake.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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