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The death of Jake Phillips Monday in a pond in Willis has been ruled accidental by authorities.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Friends and family of Jake Phillips took to social media this week to grieve and share memories of the 16-year-old who drowned Monday in Floyd County.
“Jake was a great guy and would help you anytime you needed it,” classmate Dylan Goad said. “He broke his collarbone in eighth grade and was still out running with the team with a cast on. He was one of those guys that never gave up and will be remembered forever.”
Jake, an upcoming junior at Floyd County High School, played football for the Floyd County Buffaloes, was an avid hunter and loved fishing, skateboarding, playing video games, watching movies and spending time with his family and friends, according to his obituary published in The Roanoke Times.
Deputy Chief Bruce Turner with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the drowning has been ruled accidental and is no longer under investigation.
According to a police news release, the sheriff’s office received a call at 3:45 p.m. Monday about a possible drowning in a pond in the 400 block of Agnes Lane in Willis.
Police and EMS crews arrived on scene at 3:54 p.m. but were unable to locate Jake. Dive teams from Christiansburg, Virginia Tech and Elliston responded, and a body was located about two hours later near the area where Jake was last seen.
Police said a friend tried to help Jake but could not reach him.
Classmates used Twitter to send prayers to Jake’s family, and several mentioned how Jake was a “great guy,” who was “fun to be around” and had “no care in the world.”
Kaitlyn Haynes, of Floyd, posted on her Facebook that “Jake was that guy that you just couldn’t stay upset around.”
“I have so much respect for this guy and no one who knew him will ever forget the times he made us smile,” she wrote.
Grace Alley said she first became friends with Jake at 4-H camp in 2010 .
“God put him in our lives for a purpose and his purpose was fulfilled and God took him on home,” she wrote on her Facebook. “I know if he could say one last thing to us all, it would be for us not to be sad, just smile.”
On Facebook, friends and family members shared photographs of Jake — images of him skateboarding, spending time outside and hanging out with friends.
One picture shows Jake standing next to a stream, not looking at the camera, with his hands in the pockets of his blue jeans and a slight smile. Someone added cursive words to the photo: “Some make people happy... Few change lives doing it... Jake Phillips was one of those few.”
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