16-year-old boy dies after pulled from West Fork of Calcasieu River

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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A 16-year-old boy has died after being pulled from the West Fork of the Calcasieu River near the intersection of Dunn Ferry Road and West Fork Road, according to Kim Myers with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The Calcasieu Dive Team was dispatched to Dunn Ferry Road at the West Fork bridge in Moss Bluff around 3 p.m. after getting a call about a possible drowning, Myers said.

Upon arrival, they recovered Wardell Baptiste, 16, of New Orleans from the water. Baptiste was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. According to Myers, Baptiste was visiting family members in Southwest Louisiana over spring break.

The investigation revealed that Baptiste and several other teens were reportedly jumping off the bridge into the water for fun, Myers said. When Baptiste jumped off he surfaced but went under again and did not resurface.

The boy was pulled out of the water about 20 minutes after the initial call, Myers said.

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