ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis University High School graduate has died a little more than a week after he was rescued from the water at Fugitive Beach near Rolla, Mo.
David K. Jackson, 19, was taken to Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur after what authorities termed a near-drowning on Aug. 8 at Fugitive Beach, an old quarry turned into a swimming attraction about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Rescuers performed CPR on Jackson and recovered a pulse before he was taken to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead Thursday.
Jackson graduated from SLUH last year and was known for his contagious enthusiasm and athletic talent.
He was a wide receiver and sometimes defensive end for the football team. Whenever the team was faced with a play that could decide the game, they went to Jackson, his former coach Gary Kornfeld said.
“He could do anything he set his mind to,” he said. “He was just that talented of an athlete and that outstanding of a young man. He was just electric on the football field.”
Sad to share that David Jackson '16 has passed away. Honored to know him. Christ has him. Pray for his family and friends. AMDG— David Laughlin (@Sluhpresident) August 18, 2017
Jackson’s twin brother, Daniel, also played on the team. The two played football together in their first year at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., where Jackson played wide receiver and had planned to study engineering. The twins were inseparable, Kornfeld said.
“They were the best of buds,” he said. “They were really tight. They really cared for one another and they shared a lot of great times together.”
Jackson also played basketball at SLUH, where he was known for his speed and defensive skills, Kornfeld said. Jackson treasured his time on the court, Kornfeld said.
“He was one of those players who wished he could play three games a day,” he said.
At SLUH and at Millikin, Jackson was a leader for the team who led by example, Kornfeld said. His energy and enthusiasm made everyone around him feel better, both on and off the field.
“He was a joy to be around,” he said. “It was impossible for him not to put smiles on everybody’s faces because he was just that type of individual. He was a very special young man.
“We’ve lost a good one in David.”
A GoFundMe page for Jackson’s medical expenses raised about $30,000.