Recent Wakefield grad dies in apparent drowning in NC mountains

akenney@newsobserver.comJuly 7, 2014 

A recent graduate of Wakefield High School died over the weekend in an apparent drowning in Western North Carolina.

Timothy Michael Adams, 18, played football as a wide receiver for Wakefield before graduating this spring. He was swimming with friends on the Tuckasegee River in Cullowhee at the time of the incident Saturday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to sheriff’s deputies, the Cullowhee Fire Department and two local emergency medical teams came to the scene.

Adams, of Wake Forest, was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after emergency responders arrived and took him to the medical facility.

Adams had enrolled at Western Carolina University as a sports-management major three days earlier, according to the school. He had just started the school’s Academic Success Program, which includes a six-week summer session.

“Tim was excited to step outside his comfort zone, and experience something new,” his mother, Susan Adams, wrote in an online posting regarding a fundraiser for his funeral expenses. She described his death as a “sudden, unfortunate accident.”

The fundraiser, hosted at, raised about $9,400 of its $10,000 goal from 158 people within a day of its launch on Sunday.

“He was a fine young man and a good teammate. He was a young man with high character. He practiced hard and played hard,” said his former football coach, Rod Sink. “It is overwhelming to think he has left us.”

The sheriff’s investigation into the drowning was ongoing as of Monday afternoon.

Staff writer Tim Stevens contributed to this report.

Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC

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