Tragedy struck on Monday, July 1, when Apurba Devkota was celebrating his high school graduation. The 18-year-old had recently graduated from Medford High School before attending a party at Upper Mystic Lake, according to Patch.com.
Devkota drowned during the celebration and was pulled from the lake after being found in 20 feet of water. He was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital later that night.
Devkota drowned near the Tufts Sailing Pavilion which does not allow swimming so no lifeguards are in the area. Investigators believe that he could not swim and immediately went into distress when entering the water.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of a young member of the Medford Public School community,” Medford Superintendent Marice Edouard-Vincent said in a statement. “A well-respected young man, who excelled academically and socially. Our sincerest condolences go out to the young man’s family and friends.”
Devkota was set to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall and was aspiring to be an aeronautical engineer.
“He just told me he was going to a party to hang out with his friends, and I thought it would be a barbecue or something,” Devkota’s sister, Asmita, said, via the Boston Globe. “I didn’t know it would be a lake.
“It’s like a bad dream, and I can’t wake up. I wish I could go back in time and tell him not to go — not to go into the lake.”
Devkota was originally from Nepal and moved to the United States when he was 16.
A GoFundMe page was created to help the family with funeral and burial costs.
“When he came to this country with his family he was so happy and proud to start his life here and it was cut short, way before had a chance to experience what life has to offer,” the fundraiser description reads. “I am left with such sorrow over the loss of this young man and I want to do anything I can do to help his family through this horrible time. Anything you can contribute to help raise money for this mourning family would be humbly, graciously and loving appreciated.”
At the time of this writing, the GoFundMe account has eclipsed its goal of $10,000 and raised more than $14,700.
Our deepest condolences go out to Devkota’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.