A Fulton teen's drowning death in Moniteau County on Wednesday night has left his friends and family reeling.
"It's killing me that I couldn't do more," said Jessica Lawson, a close family friend who said she was present at the scene.
Missouri Highway Patrol reports show the incident occurred at 8:04 p.m. in North Moreau Creek near Kiely Ford Road. Troopers said this is near a low-water crossing.
Bradley Hall, 17, jumped into the water off of a rope swing. Troopers estimated there was about 10 feet of water in the area Hall jumped into.
Lawson said the evening was a family outing. While she and her children had visited the swimming hole before, it was Hall's first time. The teen, who was heading into his junior year of high school, had recently moved in with her, she added.
"I always go in on the other side, not the deep side, but he wanted to try the rope swing," she said. "He told me he knew how to swim. I wish I'd trusted my gut."
She said Hall started swimming toward shore but panicked when he couldn't feel the bottom. Lawson jumped in to help, but Hall's struggles pulled her underwater.
"Then he let go," she said. "I went under the water feeling for him, but I couldn't find him."
Lawson said she had to be admitted to the hospital Wednesday evening due to water in her lungs.
After Hall was pulled from the water, paramedics attempted to revive him, Sgt. Scott White of Troop F said. He was pronounced dead at the scene just before 8:30 p.m.
Lawson described Hall as a "wonderful, outgoing, energetic and outspoken" boy. She said he loved his family, and she saw him as a son.
"I've been in his life since day one, and I was with him at the end," she said. "Give your kids hugs and kisses. In the blink of an eye, they could be gone."