Teenager drowns in Caroline accident
A teenager who drowned at Lake Caroline July 4th lit up every room he walked into and loved making people laugh and feel special, his friends said in remembering the young man.
Divers on Tuesday recovered the body of the teenager, 19-year-old Jelani “Jay” Porter, who drowned after jumping off of a boat, the authorities said.
“It is sad to say,” Sheriff Randy Tucker said. “it was a tragic accident.”
Tucker said the body was discovered about thirty yards from the damn or between 400 and 500 yards from the north end of the lake.
Divers with the Ridgeland Fire Department recovered the body at about 8:30 a.m. the following day.
RFD divers were among a throng of first responders on the scene after the call came in at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.
Porter and some friends were celebrating the Fourth of July on a pontoon boat when Porter jumped into the water and never resurfaced, officials said.
Porter knew how to swim, but investigators theorize he was pulled under by the current before he could resurface.
Porter was a 2021 graduate of Clinton Christian Academy and worked at Bop’s Frozen Custard in Clinton.
At CCA he was known as Jay.
“Our hearts are saddened in making this post,” a post on CCA’s social media said. “Please join us in sending our condolences for the Jelani Porter family. We ask for prayers for the family and the CCA family Class of ‘21. Jelani (Jay) passed away tragically in a boating accident at Lake Caroline. Jay was a great student, friend, and member of our CCA family.”
The post includes a passage from Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Bop’s Frozen Custard in Clinton was closed on Tuesday in remembrance of Porter.
“Please lift up our staff, his friends, and especially his family in prayer during this time of mourning so that the Lord can strengthen their spirit during this tragic loss,” the post said.
Kempseyann Robinson, a friend, wrote on Facebook: “I’m just absolutely heartbroken. I had the pleasure of knowing Jay in my mentor class when i was in high school. Jay lit up every room he walked in and always had such joy. He loved making people laugh and feel special. I didn’t really stay in touch with him after I graduated high school, but every time I saw him, he never failed to speak to me and check up on how i was doing. I will miss him dearly. Rest easy Jay.”