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Mother of teen who drowned at mine site in Independence warns others of the quarry's dangers

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Posted at 7:46 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 07:50:28-04

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Federicka Bloxon said her son 17-year-old Yaveonn Anderson was a beautiful soul.

“He’s loved for so many reasons,” she said. “Always there to help you, there to make you laugh, smart intelligent, beautiful inside and out.”

The love for him was evident through the pain of hundreds of people who showed up to a vigil for the teen at Kennedy Park in Brookpark Tuesday evening.

Authorities were called to the quarry at the old Haydite mine in the 8700 block of Stone Road around 5 p.m Saturday. According to officials, the teen went under the water while swimming with his friends and did not resurface.

Independence Fire Chief Steve Rega said the terrain made it tough to rescue the teen due to the very high and steep walls of the quarry. They recovered his body hours later.

Authorities said the area where the teen and his friends were swimming was gated off and clearly marked that swimming was not permitted.

“My son’s life, let’s prevent another one from being lost,” said Bloxon. “My son did not die in vain.”

Bloxon knows her son’s death was an accident, but said without enough proper signage, the quarry and vacant land where the mine used to sit, is dangerous.

She said there are multiple ways to get onto the 100-acre property besides the main gated fence. Just days after her son’s death, she went to the quarry herself and provided News 5 with the video.

In it, you can see her walking onto the property without any problem and shows graffiti and alcoholic beverage cans.

“Oh, by the way, graffiti, so you know people come out here,” she said.

She makes her way to the quarry with, seemingly, no problem.

“It is unsafe not for my child that passed but for any child that can get back here,” she said in the video. “I just picked a random spot to walk in and now I’m here to a lake [showing the water-filled quarry] Of course teens are going to be drawn to this. It is so easy to get in, look at this, look how dangerous this is. I lost my child, how many children are going to find this place?” she said.

In the video, Bloxon found multiple ways to get onto the property. In one clip, she is seen pushing the door to the fence and opening it.

Bloxon said there needs to be a change so that no one else’s child gets hurt.

“Make it to where we block it off so no one can ever get back there,” she said.

West Creek Conservancy took over the land after the mine closed. News 5 reached out for comment about signage, the director said the organization would send over a statement but News 5 did not hear back.

RELATED: 17-year-old boy drowns while swimming with friends in Independence