Friends share memories of classmate killed in boating accident - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Friends share memories of classmate killed in boating accident

Mark Swinney (Source: Friends) Mark Swinney (Source: Friends)
Trae Allgeier (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News) Trae Allgeier (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
More friends and classmates of Mark Swinney. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News) More friends and classmates of Mark Swinney. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Classmates shared fond memories of their friend after his death in the Ohio River due to a boating accident.
 
On the night of July 4, Mark Swinney, 14, was one of nine people aboard a 20 foot pontoon boat when it capsized near the new bridge construction on the Ohio River. Officials speculate the accident was caused by swift currents in the river.
 
Louisville Fire Department officials confirmed that two people, Donald Swinney, 52, and Mark, drowned. Their bodies were recovered later that night.

[RELATED STORY: Names of two killed in boating accident released
 
Mark graduated from Barrett Middle a few weeks ago. His classmates learned of his death Sunday afternoon. Trae Allgeier, Mark's teammate, said he shared a football field with him for years. 

"He had the most potential out of everybody," said Trae. "Every time he ran or lap or something, he put his everything in it."
 
His friends said Mark's potential was almost as big as his personality.
 
"Usually you would think big guys, you know," said Trae. "But he was a soft guy. It is hard to imagine that he is gone."

[RELATED STORY: 2 confirmed dead, 3 still missing in Ohio River search
 
His large personality and strength gave him the nickname, "Big Mark." His friends said he led the football team's huddle with a prayer and said he was a great Christian leader. Mark's friends spent Sunday afternoon sharing their fondest memories of the person they called, "a big teddy bear."
 
"He was really bold," said a fellow classmate. "He was not afraid to talk to anybody. He was nice to everyone."
 
It is that sincereness and loving personality that are continue to help these teens cope with losing one of their dearest friends. Some of his classmates posted to Instagram, sharing their condolences, using #RIPBigMark.
 
"He is with Jesus in Heaven." another classmate said, "I think that kind of helps a little bit."
 
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