The cause of death for college basketball player Everette Jackson after a tragic tubing accident was revealed and now, his family is seeking legal advice. According to Atlanta Blackstar;
Idaho law enforcement has released their report on the death of a college basketball player from Louisiana who was washed away in the current of one of the state’s rivers. While the official cause of death was revealed, the circumstances around his death are tragically still fuzzy.
On Sunday, June 19, the body of Everette Jackson was found mangled in some brush floating on the side of the Payette River, a little over a week after he went missing on Saturday, June 11 during a water tubing excursion, KTVB 7 reports.
A massive search and recovery effort was launched by the Gem County Sheriff’s Department and his family to find the Louisiana State University Eunice sophomore. However, he was found by a volunteer about two miles downstream from where he was last seen after he went out on the river casually to fish, a report from the Gem County Sheriff’s office revealed.
Sam Howell, a witness to the ordeal who had joined the S&R teams several times earlier in the week, said he was going upstream near the 7 Mile Slough boat ramp and spotted Jackson’s bright pink swim shorts.
Sgt. Chad Payne said, “Sam said that he observed what appeared to be a body in the water. Sam stated that he knew it was Mr. Jackson due to the clothing and general description.”
When the body of the 6-foot-7 man was located, the rescuers had to tie a rope around it to pull it out of the river — the waters were still too dangerous for anyone to go in to retrieve it.
A coroner was able to review his body for injuries. A police report noted there were none, but what seemed to be a stream of blood from his nose to his left ear was observed. Officials determined the bleeding was not consistent with one that would come from a wound.
The report stated the coroner found none of the signs associated with asphyxiation, saying, “I did not observe any bruising, wounds, or ligatures.”
The main reason people think his death is sketchy is because of the actions of his girlfriend Graci Kolka.
One of the main questions is if Everette had secured himself on a branch why would she tell him to release it? Also, why would she tell them to get out of the tube if she knew he didn’t have a life jacket?
The math is not adding up.
The family is exploring legal advice as information surrounding his death is still convoluted and based on the recollection of their relative’s girlfriend, Graci Kolka.
In a statement, she told law enforcement the two, traveling in their own tubes, were separated from the group after missing an exit point on the river near Washington Bridge.
A police report states both students got out of their tubes (Jackson without a lifejacket) and tried to kick their way to the riverbanks hoping to grab onto tree branches or roots near the edge. Witnesses have corroborated this version of events.
Kolka claims while Jackson did reach out to grab a branch to secure himself, water splashed in his face, and so she told him to release it and try to get to the dock that was downstream, a report written by Cpl. Tom Armstrong recorded.
He missed the dock.
The girlfriend said in her witness statement, she called out to Jackson as the two drifted farther apart, saying, “Babe, keep your head out of the water!”
She also told the officers that the tube flipped over, spilling Jackson’s shoes and phone, but it is unclear if this happened when they got out of the tubes or when they were inside them.
The report says that Jackson went into the water to get the items, according to one of her accounts to the police, and said she witnessed Jackson flailing around while his head bobbed under and above the river’s surface.
“Graci said she tried to reach for Everett and he went underwater again. Graci stated she swam back to shore, saying it was very deep and the water was moving very fast,” the report said. “Graci said she got to shore and began screaming Everett’s name.”
Sixteen responding officers arrived at the river after the initial dispatch. Once on the scene, the report notes, the cops observed Kolka screaming and crying, calling out for Jackson, who was lost to the current of the Payette.
Something seems off about her whole story, I hope the truth is revealed, but don’t count on it.
Flip to the next pages for some theories on what happened to Everett.