The following press release has been issued by Clay County Sheriff's Office:
Hayesville, NC - (May 20, 2019) Clay County has lost a friend to all who knew him, a model student, a great athlete and all around fine young man and citizen that wasn’t able to call Hayesville home for nearly long enough. Steven Plummer had only been a resident of Hayesville for a short time but the positive impact that he had on our small community was evident yesterday by the massive turn out of support. The loss felt by his family is shared county wide today and it can be seen and felt throughout the community where ever you go.
At approximately 3:00 PM on Monday afternoon Clay County Deputies were dispatched to the area of the TVA Circle near the “saddle dam” off Hinton Center Rd. in response to a drowning victim, 17-year-old Steven Plummer of Hayesville. Steven was a Senior at Hayesville High School this year and was with several of his classmates at the time of the incident. According to eyewitness statements, Steven was attempting to swim from the shoreline to a pontoon boat a short distance away when he began to struggle at about the half way point. Several friends say they saw he was in distress and immediately went to his aid but efforts to reach him in time were unsuccessful.
The 911 call from a student at the scene generated a full response of every emergency resource available in the county. Additional help from Towns and Henderson Counties responded as well as NC State Wildlife and TVA. Hayesville Schools Superintendent along with teachers and staff as well as County Manager and School Board members were all on scene assisting emergency personnel with the mass of students and families that turned out in one of the largest support efforts seen. The Hinton Center was a huge asset by providing a place for friends and loved ones to congregate and meet with grief counselors from the school and Appalachian Community Services while awaiting further news.
At approximately 6:20 PM members of the Towns County Dive Team located Steven’s body in about 23’ of water and about 150’ to 200’ from shore, the same general area identified earlier by eyewitnesses. Local M.E. Kyle Cody was on scene and performed a preliminary examination that revealed no contributing factors to Steven’s accidental drowning.
WKRK sends our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Steven Plummer along with the entire Hayesville community.