On Monday morning, a group of teenagers snuck onto the property of limestone quarry in Ocala in order to swim and dive off of the steep rock face into the deep water. One of them, a 17-year-old Largo resident named Trey Austin Dagwan Cardoza, was performing a jump into the water when, according to some of the others at the scene, he plunged beneath the surface of the water and never came back up.
When emergency response teams were called in, they rushed to the quarry which is located along Northwest Gainesville Road. When they arrived, the Ocala Deputies and divers with the Ocala Sheriff’s Department began to search for the missing young man. Several hours later, at nearly 4:00 in the afternoon, Cardoza was pulled from the water. When he was found, Cardoza was unresponsive. An ambulance rushed him to the Ocala Regional Medical Center for treatment, but the injuries he suffered during his dive were too much for the medical team to overcome. Trey Austin Dagwan Cardoza was declared dead on Tuesday morning.
Cardoza is the second teenager in only two months to die as a result of injuries sustained while illegally swimming in Marion County. The last person, the 18-year-old Zachary Newton, was diving and swimming at a different quarry when he suffered injuries that cost him his life. The number of teenagers trespassing to swim in various quarries and other swimming holes throughout the county is alarming, and there is some fear that if the Marion County Sheriff’s Office is unable to work with the owners of these properties to keep people away that more children will die. Only a few hours before Cardoza was discovered, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department arrested 13 other people attempting to illegally swim at a hole located on private property near to the quarry where Cardoza received his fatal injuries.
According to a statement issued by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, officer presence along the illegal swimming holes will be much higher in the upcoming months in order to curb the number of deaths and injuries that the teenagers breaking the law to swim there are sustaining.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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