Friend of Richmond High School drowning victim describes somber last day

Diante Taylor
Diante Taylor

A day typically filled with excitement and anticipation for summer break, the last day of classes for many Richmond High School students was one filled with grief.

Within a 24-hour period, students learned of the deaths of two of their peers, senior Antwone Tremell Montre Carpenter and freshman Diante Taylor.

Carpenter died early Tuesday after he was shot in the front yard of his apartment. Taylor’s body was found Monday evening in the Preble County lake from an apparent drowning.

>>Richmond High senior dies in morning shooting

The school held a moment of silence for both and encouraged grieving students to talk to counselors and administrators about their feelings.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time. We also offer condolences to all the Richmond High School students and staff members, especially their classmates, teachers and support staff,” Richmond County Schools Superintendent Todd Terrill said.

Zach Coleman, childhood friend and classmate of Taylor’s since fifth grade, described the day as “very quiet” and said students “were not into it.”

Coleman remembers his friend as a loyal and caring individual, and says he’s slowly coming to terms with what happened.

"The thing I loved most about him was that he was just really caring and he understood me most of the time," Coleman told News Center 7's Sean Cudahy. "He was one of those friends you could just have any conversation with no matter what."

>>Identity of Lake County drowning victim released 

A friend of Taylor’s called police about an hour after looking for him at the Natural Springs Resort in New Paris where they were swimming. The Richmond Fire Department diving team located his body around 5:46 p.m., 12 minutes after entering the water. Taylor’s cause of death is pending as the Preble County Coroner’s Office awaits autopsy and toxicology results.

Rebecca Coleman, Zach’s mother, said Taylor would not want sadness and would encourage his friends to move on and stay positive. She also hopes a lesson will be learned from the tragedy.

“He would want you to keep going and doing your best and to keep smiling,” Rebecca said. “Kids have to understand safety is important. Your parents just don’t tell you that just to hear their own voice.”

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