Family remembers Jake Todd, father who died in Seagraves skydiving accident
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Bryan Todd said his older brother, Jake Todd, was always comfortable doing the uncomfortable.
Bryan said when Jake first went skydiving a few years ago, he was hooked.
“He couldn’t wait to do it again,” Bryan said.
Bryan said Jake had jumped around 100 times.
And while Jake always loved a good adventure, nothing topped the love he had for his daughter, Jeune.
“Jeune and he did everything together,” Bryan said. “She was definitely a daddy’s girl.”
Bryan said 9-year-old Jeune even went skydiving with her dad.
“I know she has been skydiving at least twice and she does the indoor skydiving frequently,” Bryan said.
Bryan said he spoke with Jake on Friday, October 13.
At the time, he said Jake was preparing to make a trip to Seagraves, TX to help host West Texas Skydiving’s solar eclipse event.
Bryan said as Jake prepared for the Texas trip, he was already planning another big skydiving adventure.
“He actually had a trip planned to go to Ireland to go skydiving. I always talked about how much fun I had in Iceland. We talked about, he was going to have a layover in Iceland for two days so he was talking to me about what to do,” Bryan said.
That would be the last he spoke to his brother.
On Sunday, he learned Jake had died in a skydiving accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration is still investigating, but Bryan said his family spoke with witnesses who reported Jake attempted to do a maneuver close to landing when something went terribly wrong.
“Essentially he was about 500 feet and his parachute line became tangled. At 500 feet, you usually only have about two and a half seconds before you hit the ground. He just didn’t have quite enough time to correct what was happening,” Bryan said.
Bryan said after his initial shock, he immediately thought about Jeune.
“Just the grief I have for her. I will be okay and you know, I am obviously sad, but I am afraid for Juene. It is just a difficult situation that I don’t know what it’s like to be in,” Bryan said.
The family created a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral arrangements.
They hit their goal and said any other donations would go toward an account for Juene.
Generous donations that Bryan said matched the generosity Jake had for others.
In tribute to his big brother on social media, Bryan wrote that Jake would never hesitate to give someone the shirt off of his back.
“It was funny because someone on our GoFundMe actually wrote that Jake gave them his shirt off his back once,” Bryan said.
Bryan lives out of state but said his siblings, including Jake and Jeuene, live on the family’s property in Colorado.
“It’s been a really hard week for my family. Jake was in their life every day. My mom spent several hours with Jake every day, with Jeune,” Bryan said.
Bryan said he wants people to remember his brother for being the extremely loving person he was.
“We deal with a lot of ugliness during our lives nowadays. I think people have changed a little bit in how we react socially to one another. Jake was the type of person who wouldn’t act ugly in public. He did the greatest job at turning your angry mood into maybe not always happiness but being over it, realizing there is something more important than whatever it was you were upset. He was just a happy-go-lucky guy who is going to be severely missed by my family and his friends,” Bryan said.
If you would like to donate to an account for his daughter, click here.
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