Stephenville Crossing coping with teen's sudden death
RCMP believe Brandon Bennett, 17, was likely victim of hypothermia
The funeral for a teenager from Stephenville Crossing, on Newfoundland's west coast, will be held on Monday.
Brandon Bennett, 17, died Wednesday evening while fishing at nearby Barachois Pond Provincial Park.
Bay St. George RCMP said the young man went into the water to free his line after it got caught, and drowned. They also said hypothermia may have been a factor, since the water was colder and deeper than usual due to melting snow from nearby mountains.
Stephenville Crossing Mayor Brian Joy said the town of less than 2,000 is having a hard time accepting the sudden loss of a popular teenager.
He said people in the tightly-knit community are doing their best to cope with the tragedy and stay strong for the boy's relatives and friends.
"You switch into the mode of support and condolences to the family ... and just to be there to support them [in] any way you can," he said.
"In a town this size, I mean it's having a great impact because down the road you never know what was in store for the young fellow, in terms of when he grew up and how he could give back to the community ... in ways besides just touching everybody's life, like he did in his short life.
"It's really tragic."
Grief counsellors were at Bennett's school, Appalachia High, on Thursday and Friday, to help classmates and staff deal with the death.
"He was just a jolly, fun-loving kid," Joy added.
"I mean everybody that came into contact with him or knew him was touched by him. He had such a joy for life. He loved fishing and he loved the outdoors."