THE mother of a teenager has described the moment of ‘shock and disbelief’ she felt after finding out her ‘genius’ son had died after falling into Weymouth Harbour.
Christopher Vaughan, 18, died following the incident last Thursday. He had moved to the town last summer to be with girlfriend Tara Neels.
He was pulled out of the water at about 2.30am and later pronounced dead at Dorset County Hospital where doctors had battled to save him for more than two hours after he had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious and officers were investigating how the youngster ended up in the water. Ms Vaughan, 51, said she and partner Keith Irons were woken at 4.30am that day by police who informed them of the incident. As she prepared to leave for Weymouth, a doctor called to say Christopher had not survived.
“It was shock, disbelief, surreal,” she said. “It felt like we were going to wake up in a minute. He had called his father a few hours before and was really upbeat, happy he was living with his girlfriend and it was a really positive, lovely conversation.”
Christopher was born in Cardiff and moved to Kidderminster aged four.
He attended Franche First School, Comberton First School and King Charles I High School where he also studied for a year at sixth form.
Throughout his school life he had been placed in the year above his age group, with teachers even describing him as a ‘genius’ and he excelled in maths. His passion was video games, particularly strategy and role playing and he wanted to pursue a career in computer game design.
He left Kidderminster for Weymouth last summer to be with Tara who he had met through an online gaming community where he was known as Alan. He worked at a Londis store and planned to go back to college to finish studying and apply for university.
Ms Vaughan, who lives in Kidderminster, added: “I have been overwhelmed by the care, concern and affection of people whose lives Chris had touched, whether directly or indirectly.
“The support has been wonderful.”
Heartfelt tributes have been left on the harbourside and posted on social media. His former teachers described the ‘popular’ youngster’s death as a ‘tragic loss’.
The coroner has been informed of the death and his funeral will take place on Saturday at 10.30am at St Augustine’s Church, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
‘Such a waste’
Sabrina Bell wrote on social media: “Will always remember him for being so very talented and intelligent, it was a shock to hear the sad news. Such a waste at a young age, thoughts go to his family and friends.”
Christopher Price also commented: “He passed before his time but in life he was truly ahead of his time.”