A Fayetteville teenager who drowned in a South Carolina state park next month will be honored by his high school with an annual award in his name, officials said Thursday.
Tre’Sean Snow, 16, a rising junior at Douglas Byrd High School, drowned at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, on June 6 while trying to save another boy, according to Georgetown County Coroner’s Office.
Principal Kenneth Williams said Thursday the school has created the Tre’Sean Snow Spirit Award in his honor.
Snow’s lifeguard and cousin Kiara McPhaul, 32, said in a phone interview that Tre’Sean was on a day trip to the beach with his two best friends when he noticed a 13-year-old girl working on a boogie board and swam. to help The girl was saved, but Tre’Sean was swept away under the run, McPhaul said.
He noted an act of heroism that most adults would not be capable of.
“I see how gratuitous he was,” he said. “It was so nature – that he could not help anyone who was in need”.
‘a different kid’;
Tre’Sean said that five years ago many tragedies happened, but it never stopped him from being a light to his other loved ones.
His aunt and mother died less than two months apart in 2018, leaving Tre’Sean and his two older sisters in the care of other family members before McPhaul took them into custody, he said.
McPhaul moved his family from Raeford to Fayetteville two years ago, he said. It was a tough change for Tre’Sean. Thomas Jackson, a family member in 2020, introduced the teen to the world of cars after his uncle Tre’Sean passed away.
“He just kind of stuck by my side for a few months, learning about different race meets and learning about YouTube and making money on social media,” Jackson said.
Jackson runs TK’s garagestarted a YouTube channel in 2016 that focuses on the automotive community.
Tre’Sean fell in love with the automotive community, specifically with Dodge cars, and Jackson once took him to a nearby strip in the Challenger, he said.
“He’s kind of dedicated to this place,” he said.
Alciati also helped the teen get involved in wrestling.
“I started taking him on the weekends to these open classes or trainings,” Jackson said. “It was like having a local high school wrestling program.”
Jackson, a defense contractor who has no children, said what impressed him most about Tre’Sean was his positive attitude and determination to build a great life for himself. He said the teen dreamed of building a house in honor of his disabled sister and joining Douglas Byrd’s JROTC program.
“The kid is different,” Tullius said. “He wanted to study and do things differently.”
Jackson found out from Tre’Sean’s wife and family about the teen’s death, but it wasn’t until he spoke to the Georgetown County coroner that he heard how Tre’Sean died, he said.
That knowledge inspired him to speak, and to Alciati edited the video to 106,000 subscribers on YouTube, sharing Tre’Sean’s story and encouraging the automotive community to attend the June 14 funeral in Raeford.
“That kid gave everything to save that little girl,” Jackson said.
to honor the sacrifice
News of Tre’Sean’s final act has been released, and members of the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office and the Raeford Fire Department, Jackson and McPhaul said.
Deputies attended Tre’Sean’s funeral and intersections were closed from the funeral home to the cemetery as fire trucks lined up to pay tribute to Tre’Sean, Jackson said. According to McPhaul, community members drove the family to the funeral home.
Also at Tre’Sean’s funeral, his loved ones learned about the Douglas Byrd High School Tre’Sean Heart Award, McPhaul said. Principal Williams said Thursday that the details have not been finalized, but the students at the annual senior awards ceremony and recipients will be determined through faculty nominations and voting.
Tre’Sean’s loved ones said they want people to remember the spirit of the teen.
“He’s still affirming and always looking for a better way of life,” Jackson said. “The community has lost someone who I felt was going to make a big difference in their community because of what a great kid he was.”
It’s a loss that will always be felt in his family, McPhaul said.
“I want people to know how much we miss him and how he put this in our hearts,” he said. “He was just picking the kid to pieces.”
Public reporter Lexi Solomon can be reached at ABSolomon@gannett.com.