Woman who drowned at Sweet Briar Lake identified

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AMHERST Co., (WDB7) A Lynchburg woman drowned last Friday afternoon after falling into an on-campus lake at Sweet Briar College.

The victim was identified by the Amherst County Sheriff's office as Carla Marvia Johnson, 48.

The Amherst County Sheriff's office responded to a call around 4:00 p.m., that Friday after receiving reports of a woman had fell in the lake.

Johnson was later taken to a hospital to further resuscitate her, but later died.

A deputy, town police officer, Amherst firefighter, Sweet Briar staff member were able to find Johnson in six feet of water, where they began to try to resuscitate her. “It’s just hard to grasp, it’s just a hard pill to swallow, that Carla’s gone, I mean she was just a little petite thing, but she was big spirited, big hearted," said Doris Hamlett, Johnson's neighbor. “Oh Lord, everybody was really upset, because... a drowning? Wow, that was a lot to take in, to grasp," said Hamlett.

Hamlett says the news has hit the community hard – especially for the kids in the community. “She loved to give the kids something sweet to eat, she really did and it was a great thing," Hamlett said.

Known as “Ma Carla” by all the children, Hamlet says the community is at a loss for words.

Johnson's body has been taken to the Medical Examiners Office in Roanoke for examination.

The investigation as to how Johnson got into the water is ongoing.