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Haysville teen who drowned at Wellington Lake identified

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at 11:37 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at 11:44 a.m.

Travis Webb, 14, of Haysville was a three-sport athlete at Clearwater Middle School who had graduated this month.

Chuck Reitberger, track coach at the school, said Webb was a “quiet, dependable young man.”

“He was very well-liked by his peers,” Reitberger said Tuesday. “It’s an absolute tragedy here. He was a good kid; I could always count on him.”

On Monday, authorities said, Webb drowned in Wellington City Lake while wading with two of his friends. Around 5 p.m., Webb went under and was not seen again.

“The young man, as well as a few of his friends, were wading, and I think he simply waded out too far,” Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath said Tuesday.

Webb’s body was found Tuesday morning in a southeast corner of the lake known as Catfish Cove. His family said he was an inexperienced swimmer, according to a news release from the Wellington Police Department.

Reports from the search crew indicated the water was 8 to 10 feet deep in the area where he was found, Heath said.

The 911 call came in around 5:15 p.m. Monday, Heath said. Four boats, in addition to police officers on shore, combed the lake until it became too dark to search. Webb’s body was found less than 30 minutes after crews resumed their search Tuesday morning.

Many of Webb’s friends tweeted throughout the night, saying they hoped he would be found alive and that they could not sleep until they knew what had happened.

“I could not believe what I was hearing Monday night,” Webb’s friend Kayti Joyce told The Eagle on Facebook. “He is way too good of a person to be taken from us at such a young age.

“I’ve spent the day crying and not knowing what to do with myself. Looking around at the pictures of us on my walls, I still can’t believe I won’t be seeing him again.”

Friends of Webb’s wore pink on Tuesday to remember him. They said Webb – who played football, basketball and track and was a member of the band in middle school – would frequently wear pink in memory of his mother, who died of breast cancer.

“God received another amazing angel,” Webb’s friend McKayla Knisley said in a text to The Eagle.

Reach Matt Riedl at 316-269-6791 or mriedl@wichitaeagle.com.

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