John Albert Smith, 17, schoolboy, died helping to save James T. Lonergan, 18, from drowning, Lorton, Virginia, July 25, 1966. When he attempted to swim across an arm of a reservoir, Lonergan became fatigued in deep water 75 feet from the bank and asked a companion for assistance. The latter aided Lonergan but began to tire, and both called for help. Smith, who had just eaten lunch after working four hours in the heat was on the bank. Removing his shoes, he waded and swam to Lonergan and his companion, both of whom had been submerged several times. Smith took hold of Lonergan and aided in supporting him. Another youth arrived and relieved Lonergan’s companion, who swam to the bank to get a boat. Smith and the other youth towed Lonergan six feet toward the bank. Lonergan kept flailing wildly, at times forcing them to release him momentarily. A second youth arrived and relieved Smith, who trod water nearby as Lonergan’s companion and a third youth approached with a small boat. After Lonergan had been aided into the boat, all but one of the other youths climbed aboard. The remaining youth looked about for Smith and saw the top of his head appear briefly at the surface six feet away. The youth swam to that point and obtained a hold on Smith, who continued to sink. The youth lost his hold on Smith, who outweighed him. Smith sank. All of the youths were too nearly exhausted to give further assistance. Smith’s body later was recovered by a diver.
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