Virginia Tech wrestler drowns

Published 07/02 2014 10:28PM

Updated 07/02 2014 10:28PM

Blacksburg, VA ( - Virginia Tech wrestler Darren Hankins died Wednesday night in a drowning accident in Blacksburg, the school announced.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Hankins drowned while swimming in a water-filled quarry in Montgomery County.

Investigators told TV station WDBJ that a man who drowned in a former quarry was swimming with other people on private property. Bystanders who attempted to save the man couldn't and his body was recovered around 7:30 p.m.

"The Virginia Tech athletics family suffered a great tragedy this evening," athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement. "Darren was a wonderful representative of the wrestling team and of this university. Our hearts go out to his family, our Virginia Tech family, and his countless friends during this difficult time."

Hankins, 21, was a junior majoring in philosophy, according to Virginia Tech. He competed on the varsity team for two seasons but sat out the 2013-14 season due to injury.

"Darren Hankins was very special to our wrestling program and our entire athletic department," wrestling coach Kevin Dresser said. "As a father and as his coach, this is something that we would hope no family would have to go through.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hankins family at this time. Darren was a wonderful young man. Virginia Tech wrestling was a better place because of Darren Hankins."

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