Seth Washam, 18, was on a trip to the Central American country when the electrical short happened on July 19, according to Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. Washam was slated to attend the university starting in the fall.
Emma Washam, Seth’s sister, a junior at Carson-Newman, was injured but survived.
According to A Hand Up for Women, a job corps group, Seth and Emma were in Guatemala on an academic study program. Their father Shannon Washam, director of the Western Heights Baptist Center, had arrived in Guatemala on July 14 to join them for a week of vacation and touring.
“While we do not have all the details of the accident, we do know that it occurred due to an electrical wire in a swimming pool. Emma was also injured in the accident and is receiving medical attention in Guatemala,” the group stated.
“Shannon is there with Emma trying to work out arrangements for her medical attention as well as necessary arrangements for everyone’s return. Please pray for wisdom and divine intervention in this difficult process.”
Shannon Washam and his wife Jean-Ann Washam are alumni of Carson-Newman, the school said.
“The prayers of our entire campus community is that God will be a refuge and an ever present help to the Washam family at this time,” said Carson-Newman President Charles Fowler in a statement. “For Shannon, Jean-Ann and Emma, we pray for God’s comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Incoming freshman Seth Washam died Friday in a swimming pool accident while on a trip to Guatemala. His sister, Emma, a…
Donations are being accepted through a university page.
Carson-Newman is a small Christian school in Jefferson City with a student population of about 2,500 students.
The U.S. Department of State said in a statement officials were aware of the death.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a spokesperson told ABC.
“We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
Community Mourns Loss
According to WATE, the death of Washam is the latest fatality of people linked to the school. The school community was mourning the fifth death linked to the school this year.
“It’s just a tremendous tragedy to lose such a fine young man,” Ross Brummett, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, told the broadcaster. “We’re still in that shocked, stunned mode that is to be expected.”
Students were talking about Washam’s best qualities, Brummett added.
Special prayers for Shannon Washam and Jean-Ann Washam, after the death of son, Seth, and injury of daughter, Emma. Both were on a study abroad trip from Carson-Newman to Guatemala. Accident occurred due to apparent electrical short in a swimming… https://t.co/3IRYzHFY6K
— Ed Sunday-Winters (@EdSundayWinters) July 20, 2019
“He’s a big guy. A big, gregarious, loved by everybody kind of guy. A whiz at math. I mean evidently very very good at math. I know he served as a peer tutor at Gibbs High School,” said Brummett.
And the family of the deceased was thankful for support people had shown so far.
“The prayers of the people are going to be the fuel that they’re going to need to run on across these next several days and weeks and months. Very thankful for that,” said Brummett, encouraging people to donate to the university page for the family.