WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The 17-year-old high school student who drowned on Tuesday in Waterbury after running from police when he was found in a stolen vehicle has been identified.
Connecticut State Police identified the teen as Benjamin Payton, a student at Crosby High School in Waterbury. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, his death has been ruled an accidental drowning.
Waterbury Public Schools Spokeswoman Belen Michelis confirmed to News 8 that two others involved were students at Enlightment, another high school in Waterbury.
Payton was part of a group of four teens found in a stolen vehicle out of Ridgefield, according to police. The driver was a 14-year-old. Another occupant was 16.
Two others ran into a wooded area near Lakewood Lake, according to police. A 17-year-old was then taken into custody.
The other 17-year-old went under the water and couldn’t be seen, according to police. Officers tried to find him but couldn’t.
Police said a dive team later recovered Payon’s body, and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Waterbury police knew the teens from previous arrests, according to officers. The three surviving teens have been charged with theft of a stolen motor vehicle and interfering with police.
Connecticut State Police will take over the investigation into Payton’s death.