FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 11-year-old boy has died after he was pulled from the lake Friday afternoon at Sterling State Park in Frenchtown Township.
The boy was rushed to the nearest hospital where he later died. Family members have identified him as Eric Stover Jr., of Wayne. He had just graduated from 5th grade.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says the 911 call came in shortly after 4 p.m. The caller said the boy was struggling to swim in the water near the southern end of the beach area. The caller also said the child was being swept away from shore by the current and had gone under.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Dive Team found the boy 25 yards off the shoreline in about 4 feet of water.
Emergency room doctors at Promedica Regional Hospital in Monroe pronounced him dead soon after his arrival.
The Sheriff's Office is calling it an accidental drowning.
Eric's father, Eric Stover Sr., says his son wasn't a strong swimmer but hadn't had a problem at the beach before. The boy's mother was at a different part of the beach with her other children when young Eric and his 17-year-old uncle went for a swim.
Stover Sr. was in Farmington Hills when the boy's mother called him a panic.
"Saying my son went under and she's trying to find him," he said.
The boy's uncle, Alex Lizyness, said he tried desperately to save his nephew.
"I tried to help him. I tried to push him toward the shore and I went under again. I came back up and I was by the shore and he was far out. I just started screaming for help and people ran over and they tried to help him but they couldn't find him," said Lizyness.
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The state park is situated along the Lake Erie shoreline.