July 1, 2014

Second teen's death also accidental

PLATTSBURGH — Michael Lawson died of freshwater drowning, the post-mortem report showed.

State Police also said in a press release that the Plattsburgh youth's manner of death was ruled accidental.

Lawson, as did Plattsburgh High School senior Taoufik Maknani, drowned on the afternoon of June 26 in the West Branch of the Ausable River, where they were swimming with friends at The Flume.

That stretch of waterfalls and rushing water is a popular spot for cliff jumping and diving, though police have not said the teens had been engaged in that activity when the accident happened.

Numerous agencies and emergency-response organizations participated in the search for the teens. Maknani's body was recovered the same day, but Lawson was not located until Sunday afternoon.

Heavy rains had raised the level of the river last week, and its velocity hindered search efforts, as it was deemed too dangerous for divers. 

Dr. C. Francis Varga performed the autopsy on Lawson at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake today.

A Plattsburgh High School junior, he was 17.

Maknani's funeral took place today at the Islamic Center of Quebec in Saint-Laurent, Quebec. Attendees from the area met at Plattsburgh High School this morning, with red ribbons tied to the driver's side mirrors of their vehicles in remembrance of both boys.

Then many traveled to the Islamic Center in a caravan for the services.


Email Suzanne Moore:

Text Only | Photo Reprints
CVPH Job Opportunities