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Shocked by drowning, a community turns grief to action
The Bonney Lake community was hit hard by the sudden drowning death of 16-year-old Quentin Boggan just hours after the last day of classes. Now friends and acquaintances are attempting to figure out how to handle their grief; some are mobilizing their loss into action.
Boggan was with friends at the Lake Tapps shore in Allan Yorke Park when he fell below water level for several minutes. When friends realized something was wrong, two dove in after him to bring him ashore. Bystanders attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation until East Pierce rescue workers arrived and continued the process. The teen regained a pulse and was attempting to breathe on his own by the time he was placed in medical transit, according to police at the scene, but he later died in hospital custody.
Word got out quickly. Boggan was a member of the Bonney Lake Panthers football team. Coaches and staff held an emergency meeting to inform the team what had happened.
The meeting was followed by a candlelight vigil at the BHS graffiti rock. Visitors paid their respects with candles, flowers and basketballs. The initials "QB" were painted onto the rock itself.
Meanwhile, the Sumner School District shifted into emergency mode to arrange grief and counseling resources for students and their families.
A letter from Bonney Lake High Principal Linda Masteller told parents to be prepared for varying and seemingly unusual expressions of grief.
"Some may experience a rush of feelings right away, while others may be in a state of disbelief for a while and may just appear dazed and confused," she wrote. "Some may initially be very angry or fearful, while others may be so uncomfortable with their feelings that they act silly or giggly, even though they are hurting inside. All of these reactions are normal ways of dealing with grief."
The Bonney Lake High and Mountain View Middle School web sites have been updated with grief and counseling resources. Counselors were made available at the campuses today, and arrangements are being made to have counselors available by appointment at the two campuses over the summer, district Communications Director Ann Cook said.
"It's a heartbreaking loss for the community and for a wonderful family that has had three children in Sumner schools," she said.
The football team convened Friday for a light practice emphasizing togetherness, she said.
Boggan's peers have already mobilized to honor his passing.
A teen prayer service—unaffiliated with any plans by the family for a memorial service—will be held at Calvary Community Church of Sumner on Sunday, 6:15 p.m.
A Facebook page was created Friday morning for acquaintances to post their favorite memories and anecdotes.
One community member is presently researching the possibility of lobbying for a lifeguard at the Allan Yorke Park shore. She declined to discuss the matter further to avoid compromising the project in its earliest stage.