Lee High School star athlete drowns at Chewacla State Park

Jamari Smith excited after Lee wins state championship

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - A Montgomery teen drowned in Auburn Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

Lee High School star two-sport athlete Jamari Smith, 18, has been identified as the victim. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris says at about 4:30 p.m., officers and fire personnel, along with paramedics, responded to an accidental drowning call in the lake area of Chewacla State Park near Shell Toomer Parkway.

According to the coroner, Smith was swimming with friends, apparently became tired and went under the water.

When Smith was pulled from the water, first responders tried to resuscitate him.

Police said the teen was taken to East Alabama Medical Center Emergency Room, but he was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m.

Police said all indications are that Smith died from an accidental drowning, but the case remains under investigation. Harris said foul play is not suspected.

Smith was a two-sport athlete and helped the Lee Generals win their first-ever state championship in boys basketball earlier this year. He was also a star on the football field and signed with UAB on National Signing Day.

Montgomery teen and star athlete Jamari Smith drowned at Chewacla State Park Wednesday.
Montgomery teen and star athlete Jamari Smith drowned at Chewacla State Park Wednesday. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“Our hearts are broken to learn about the tragic passing of Jamari Smith. We want to send our deepest condolences to the entire Smith family. Jamari was an upstanding young man with an extremely bright future. Although he never played a game at UAB, he will always be a Blazer," UAB Head Football Couch Bill Clark said in a statement.

In 2018, Smith was a Fever Star Athlete Player of the Week while at Success Unlimited.

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