BOLINGBROOK – Javier Vera, the 17-year-old who drowned in a Bolingbrook quarry on Aug. 28, was laid to rest following memorial and funeral services this weekend in Bolingbrook.
Vera was swimming in the water-filled quarry near 135th Street and Interstate 55 with two other Bolingbrook teens when he began to struggle and went under, according to Bolingbrook Police Department.
The other two boys attempted to rescue Vera, but their efforts were unsuccessful, according to police. The Plainfield Dive Team located Vera in the water at about 9:04 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at approximately 9:44 p.m. at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, police said.
Vera, a senior at the high school and a graduate of Oak View Elementary and Brooks Middle schools, played soccer for the Raiders for three years and was a member of the yearbook committee his sophomore year, according to Valley View School District.
Bolingbrook High School Varsity Soccer Coach Jamie Clemmons said Vera had played at the junior varsity level the previous three years but was vying for a spot on the varsity team for the upcoming season. The 17-year-old had suffered a hamstring injury during the Raiders' summer workouts, but was unwilling to let the setback phase him, according to Clemmons.
"He was a real hard worker on the field," Clemmons said. "He had battled through an ankle injury last year and a hamstring pull this summer, but refused to use that as an excuse. He just kept going and putting in the necessary work and rehab."
The coach added that Vera was a positive influence within the high school's soccer program, and that he was well-liked by other players and coaches.
"Javier was a very outgoing, bright and social kid," Clemmons said. "People flocked to him, he had a lot of friends and everyone enjoyed being around him."
Following Vera's death, the Bolingbrook High School Crisis Team was activated to assist students and staff cope with the loss.
An investigation by the Bolingbrook Police Department is ongoing and It remains unclear how the three teens gained access to the quarry, where at least one sign reads "Private property - no trespassing." A fence topped with barbed wire also surrounds the quarry.
While the sign indicates the property is owned by "Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co.", representatives from the business said the quarry and the surrounding property were sold about two months ago.
According to a May 16 Village of Bolingbrook sales deed, Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co. sold the property to a privately held company located at 6110 Route 71 in Oswego.
A visitation was held for Vera on Friday at Bolingbrook-McCauley Funeral Chapel, and a funeral mass and interment proceeded on Saturday.