Orahnde Askew

BLAIRSVILLE — Relatives have started a GoFundMe effort to cover funeral expenses for a 2018 Blairsville High School graduate who drowned Tuesday night while swimming at an Erie County campground.

Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook said Orahnde Askew, 19, suffered an accidental death “due to drowning by asphyxiation” at Sparrow Point Family Campground in Waterford Township.

The matter is under investigation by state police at Erie.

“Orahnde Malik Askew shook the entire community with his passing,” Que Askew, of Indiana, posted on the fundraising website. “He was the brightest light in any room, and always knew how to make a crowd smile.”

Orahnde Askew was a freshman this past year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He played football and ran track at Blairsville and was named to the Heritage Conference all-conference football team for 2017.

In the day since Que Askew posted the request, at least 168 donors were reported, providing $6,650 of the $10,000 sought to cover funeral expenses.

“Our only wish is that with this devastating event that we can help as much as possible with the upcoming financial situation that the Askew family will have to deal with” Que Askew posted. “No family should have to pay for so much while mourning the passing of a son, a brother, a truly amazing person.”

John Henderson Co. funeral home in Johnstown is handling arrangements.