11-year-old dead after incident at Clifton Beach, coroner says

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – An 11-year-old was pronounced dead Saturday afternoon at Clifton Beach, the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office said.

According to a release from Coroner Rusty Clevenger, the coroner’s office and emergency personnel responded to Clifton Beach at 239 Goldmine Road Saturday afternoon in reference to a reported drowning.

Clevenger said 11-year-old Diego Rivero, of Oxford, N.C. was pronounced dead at the scene around 2:30 p.m.

Master Deputy Tony Ivey tells us they cleared the scene after the coroner responded.

One witness, Michael McColl says before it happened he remembers warning several young kids playing in the river Saturday morning about the dangers of the current.

“I did say hey be careful, the river is high right now, it’s moving a little bit.” McColl said.

Adding, “You have to understand this river is unpredictable, you do have to take extra measures.”

McColl says after having his own experience with how dangerous the water can be.

“I’ve gone down this river several times, down to Pacolet, yeah I’ve wiped out. It was scary,” McColl said.

He’s urging parents to pay more attention to their children when they’re in any body of water.

McColl said, “Parents need to come here and just realize you have to make sure you’re with them because it does change. The river is strong. It really is.”

An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday, June 7.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

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