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Teenage drowning victim identified by school district

Updated: Jun. 23, 2017 at 10:47 AM EDT
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The incident was reported about 6 p.m. Thursday. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The incident was reported about 6 p.m. Thursday. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

RADCLIFF, KY (WAVE) - The teenager who drowned in a Hardin County pond Thursday afternoon has been identified by Hardin County Schools.

"There are certainly lots of broken hearts today" over the death of North Hardin High School junior Elijah Thornton, 17, Superintendent Teresa Morgan said in a written statement.

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"He was a young man with an incredibly kind heart, Morgan continued. "Many teachers are remembering him as someone with a kind and gentle soul who would drop by their classroom each morning to just say hello, share an encouraging word and offer a warm hug to start the day."

The incident was reported to police just before 6 p.m. Thursday in the area of Blackjack Road and Centennial Avenue, just outside the Radcliff city limits.

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Radcliff Police Chief Jeffrey Cross said several young people were swimming in the small pond when Thornton began struggling. Neighbors said two of the juveniles tried to help Thornton, but were unable to.

"The North Hardin Trojan family has survived tragedy before and they will strongly do it this time," Morgan wrote. "Hardin County Schools students, staff and stakeholders mourn with the Thornton family today and the days, weeks and months to come. The family is burdened with unspeakable pain. We ask the members of our community and members of our district family to keep the Thornton family in your thoughts and prayers."

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Radcliff police are continuing to investigate the drowning.

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