Father and 14-Year-Old Son Drown in Lake After Dad Tried to Rescue Teen: '2 Beautiful Souls'

“Witnesses observed the father struggling, just before losing sight of him as well,” according to the sheriff's office

<p>Getty</p> Lake Anna, Virginia.


Lake Anna, Virginia.

A father and son drowned in a Virginia lake while on vacation over Memorial Day weekend, authorities said.

The Louisa County Sheriff's Office is investigating after 42-year-old father died trying to save his 14-year-old son from drowning and that the incident is under investigation, they said in a news release.

Authorities said emergency crews responded to Lake Anna in eastern Virginia on Saturday, May 25, at around 1:10 p.m. local time due to a report of a child drowning. While officers were en route to the scene, they were “advised" that the child's father had “attempted to locate/rescue his son.”

“It was reported that witnesses observed the father struggling, just before losing sight of him as well,” the sheriff's office said in the release.

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Authorities noted that several bystanders “went into the water” to try to locate them but were ultimately “unsuccessful.”

LCSO Marine Units, Mineral Vol Fire, Lake Anna Vol Rescue, Department of Wildlife Resources and Spotsylvania County Fire & EMS Dive Team divers eventually arrived at the scene, per the release.

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The father and son were pronounced “dead on the scene,” according to officials. Their bodies were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Richmond for examination.

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“The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office does not suspect any type of foul play,” authorities said.

According to ABC affiliate WJET-TV, family members identified the pair as Matthew Atchley and his son Tyler Atchley, from Harborcreek, Pennsylvania.

Kelly Hess, superintendent of Harbor Creek School District, where Tyler attended school, released a statement obtained by PEOPLE following news of the teen's death.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of one of our Junior High students and his father while on vacation out of town. Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time,” Hess said.

Related: Father Drowns While Saving His 3 Kids from New Jersey River, Police Say

On May 26, Steven Atchley said in a Facebook post on behalf of Matthew's wife, Susan, that the "world lost 2 wonderful people."

"Tyler and Matt drowned in a lake, out of town," she wrote. "Life is not fair. You never know what will happen. Live life to the fullest."

"He was a hard working and great husband and father," Atchley added. "Tyler was a happy kid. Always wanting to learn something new. He loved playing and watching football. He just had his first job as Referee for Flag Football. He was so excited to start landscaping this summer. He loved wrestling. All his coaches had a big impact on him. I could go on and on. 2 wonderful people, gone too soon."

A GoFundMe fundraiser launched for Susan has raised over $24,000 as of the morning of May 28.

"These 2 beautiful souls were taken from their family way to soon," the tribute said. "Please help this mother and wife, Susan Atchley, bring her boys home."

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