Teen drowns in water-filled Bolingbrook quarry

August 29, 2013 (BOLINGBROOK, Ill.)

Three teens, all 17, started swimming laps across a water-filled section of the Elmhurst Chicago Stone Company quarry on private property at 1421 W. 135th St. near I-55 about 7:30 p.m., Bolingbrook Police Lt. Mike Rompa said.

Javier Vera started to struggle, went under the water and did not return to the surface, police said. The other teens tried to help but were not successful.

A dive team from Plainfield located Vera just after 9 p.m., and he was pronounced dead at 9:44 p.m. at Adventist Hospital, police said.

Three days ago, Vera tweeted: "When everything is going well, something bad is bound to happen."

"Very sad for our student body here, throughout our hallways there are students that find the news out at different times," said Bolingbrook High School Principal Michael White.

Vera was a senior at Bolingbrook; he played soccer at school for three years.

"He's good in soccer and he has a lot of friends. He was funny," said Bolingbrook student John Mendoza.

"I think it's gonna be a sad day, and I guess people will be really depressed all day," said Bolingbrook student Joseline Martin.

Twitter lit up overnight with grief-stricken friends. One tweeted a picture of Vera just hours before his death. The caption read, "Do you believe in the after life?"

One friend said Vera was asking his friends that question Wednesday. Grief counselors were on hand Thursday helping students cope with his sudden death.

"He was a wonderful, happy, well-adjusted young man that I enjoyed personally as a principal, and I know his friends enjoyed him as well," White said. "So his spirit will live on through all of us."

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