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Teen’s final act saves niece By BRADEN BUNCH Item Staff Writer July 27, 2002 Authorities say the last act of a Dalzell teenager might have saved her 2-year-old niece’s life. Becky Antonieke Davis, 19, drowned in Lake Marion Thursday afternoon during a family gathering at Santee State Park. She was the daughter of Anthony B. Davis and Jean Wright Davis. According to authorities, Davis was apparently 35 to 40 feet from shore when she stepped into some sort of crevasse and sank under water. “She may have stepped in a hole or off a cliff or something like that,” said Santee Fire Department Chief Edward Barnett, whose department was the first on the scene. Barnett said at the time of the incident Davis was holding her 2-year-old niece so that she, too, could play in the water. Family members told Barnett that as Davis apparently realized she was going under she called to the family for help and, in an act of desperation, threw the child as far as she could toward the shore. Family members raced into the water and were able to quickly recover the child and carry her to safety, Barnett said, but they were unable to find Davis. Firefighters formed a makeshift search and rescue operation with privately owned boats until officers with the state Department of Natural Resources, along with a dive team from the Cannan Fire Department, arrived and took over. The area of the lake where Davis was last seen is between 10 to 14 feet deep. DNR officials recovered the body some two hours later, Barnett said. Barnett said this was the second drowning in the same area of Lake Marion in the past five days. The other incident was about 2.5 miles from the scene and claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy. Because of the recent incidents, Barnett stressed the importance of families having some sort of safety plan prepared when they hold outings near a body of water. “Usually when you go around this kind of activity, you go to have fun but let’s keep in mind that anything can happen,” Barnett said, adding that all children need to be supervised by an adult. The Davis family is receiving friends at the home at 109 Briarcliff Mobile Home Park in Dalzell. Funeral arrangements have not been completed. BECKY A. DAVIS SANTEE — Becky Antonieke Davis, 19, died Thursday, July 25, 2002, at Lake Marion in Santee State Park. Born Aug. 28, 1982, in Sumter, she was a daughter of Anthony B. Davis and Jean Wright-Davis. She was a 2001 Crestwood High School graduate and had planned to attend Central Carolina Technical College’s School of Nursing in the fall. She was employed by Ruby Tuesday Inc. of Sumter and was engaged to Chris Sheard. Survivors besides her mother and father include two sons, Deiondre Malik Davis and Avion Markiest Benjamin, both of the home; a brother, Jordan Davis-Myers of Wedgefield; a sister, LaToya Walker of the home; her maternal grandmother, Bessie Wright of Wedgefield; her paternal grandparents, Charlie and Wilber C. Davis of Sumter; and a nephew, Joshua Darnell Walker of the home. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather, Ernest Wright. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hillcrest Middle School, U.S. 521 North, Dalzell, with the Rev. Douglas Fisher officiating and Bishop Henry Dillard, state bishop, residing, assisted by trial elder Eston Wells, the Rev. Larry Wright and the Rev. Betty Fisher. Burial will be in Mayesville City Cemetery. The casket will be placed in the church at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The funeral procession will leave at 1:30 p.m. from the home, 109 Briarcliff Mobile Home Park, Dalzell. Cousins and friends will serve as pallbearers and floral bearers. A wake service will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home. The family will receive friends at the home. Williams Funeral Home Inc. of Sumter is in charge of arrangements.