What was supposed to be night of fun turned to tragedy as 18-year-old Tyler Craig, from Hewitt Avenue in Buffalo, drowned while swimming in the Millennium Hotel pool in Cheektowaga. The incident happened Sunday evening April 9th.
Craig was a junior at the Charter School for Applied Technologies. The school is on Spring break but school officials said they are arranging counseling for grieving classmates.
Many messages on social media described Craig as a well-liked person who enjoyed making others laugh.
"It was impossible to have a bad day when you were with him," said family friend Denzel Adams by phone.
Adams said the teenager loved basketball and was hoping to attend college.
Cheektowaga Police say there is no evidence of wrongdoing as the hotel had the proper safety gear in place and signs warning "Swim at your own risk" because there was no lifeguard on duty.
Assistant Chief James Speyer said, at first, Craig's two friends thought he was joking as he flailed around in the deep end of the pool. Once they realized that he was in trouble, two of the friends jumped in to help. However, unable to swim themselves, they nearly drowned also, explained Asst. Chief Speyer.
Two Cheektowaga Police officers made efforts to resuscitate Craig while the ambulance was underway to the hotel. The teen was rushed to Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus where he was pronounced dead.
"It is affecting a lot of people who tried to save him," said Speyer.
No funeral arrangements have been announced yet.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.