FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WJLA) - A powerful drawing by a gifted young artist now symbolizes the Johnson family’s pain, loss, and heartbreak. Its artful tears are now replaced by those of his grieving mother and father.
Anthony Johnson, 18, was a recent Forrest Park High School graduate who played the violin and planned to attend college in Florida. He drowned Monday night while swimming with friends at this abandoned Fredericksburg rock quarry – a popular swimming spot for young people despite the “No Trespassing” signs.
A train leads to the quarry, and police say that at about 7:40 p.m., Johnson and a friend were swimming towards a rope swing when he began struggling in the water. His friends raced to help, but could not save him.
"Everybody's not a hero, it takes a special person to do something like that, definitely thanks to them. I'm glad nothing bad happened to them," said Johnson's father.
The recent graduate had gone swimming here before, but his parents say they didn’t know it was off-limits and on private property. Now, Fredericksburg Police are stepping up patrols.