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Tolar student missing after Lake Talquin boating accident

by Teresa Eubanks, Journal Editor

Recovery efforts continued Tuesday at Lake Talquin as divers searched for the body of a 10-year-old boy thrown into the water during a boating accident Saturday.

The boy and his uncle, Juan Tipper, 55, who is his legal guardian, collided with another boat the morning of Oct. 4.

Tipper was in a 20-foot bass boat, which was heading toward an oncoming 18-foot Stratos bass boat, operated by Kimbrel Brown, 67, of Quincy, according to Rebekah Nelson, public information officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). “Both took action to avoid collision and turned in to each other,” she explained.  “The collision caused the boy to be ejected and thrown into the water.”

Brown also fell into the water; his wife, Mercia Brown, 65, remained in the vessel.  Both were wearing life vests.

Neither Tipper nor his nephew wore a life vest.

Tipper was treated at the scene for his injuries.

The Browns were taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.  The husband has been released but his wife, who was recently moved out of intensive care, remains in the hospital, Nelson said Tuesday. She suffered several broken ribs.

The Browns, Tipper and his nephew are all from Quincy.

• • • • •

The missing youngster was identified as Skylar Brogdon-Marr, who attended fifth grade at Tolar School in Bristol.

“He was new here this year,” said Tolar School Principal Steve Benton.  Skylar had previously attended Sneads Elementary School, where the staff was very upset over his loss, according to the principal.  “They were crazy over this kid,” he said.

“He had only been here for three months but he was already making friends with everybody,” said Skylar’s math teacher, Josh Myers. “He was a really sweet kid.  I enjoyed having him.”

The loss was a shock for the class as well as Myers, who is in his first year of teaching.  “When I found out, I was heartbroken,” he said.  A counselor has been in to talk with students and “they seem to be handling it,” Myers said.

He acknowledges that it may hit them a little harder once some time passes and they realize they will never see him again.

“We’ve got a little memorial sign in our classroom that all the kids have signed,” the teacher said.  “It’s been a learning experience,” he said, and added, “Luckily, there are some good teachers here with a lot of experience I’ve been able to lean on.”

Sgt. Rodney Smith from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was at Lake Talquin Tuesday afternoon with  Liberty County Search and Rescue volunteers.  As of 2 p.m.,  he said 15 boats were searching the water and two helicopters were monitoring efforts from above. FWC was joined at the scene by other law enforcement members from sheriffs’ offices in Gadsden, Jackson, Bay and Gulf counties as well as Lowndes County, GA.

On a GoFundMe page set up by the boy’s relatives under the heading “The Search for Skylar Brogdon”, they wrote:

This past Saturday was supposed to be a peaceful bonding fishing trip that turned into a nightmare that we all cannot seem to wake up from. A boat crashed into Skylar and Juan’s boat on Lake Talquin ejecting Skylar from the boat…he has never been seen again. Divers, law enforcement and locals from all around have been searching diligently in the waters to find him. Dive and recovery teams started Tuesday the 7th from Valdosta, Bay County, Wakulla County, and other surrounding counties to begin the search once again in hopes in finding him.

We ask that you pray for this family and this little boy wholeheartedly for his rescue and bring closure to the family.

We put together this page asking for help with bills, groceries, and eventually funeral expenses.

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Date
November 10th, 2017

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Staff

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