A 7-year-old boy was killed when a truck driven by his father lost control on an icy patch of Interstate 84 and plunged into the Columbia River.
Jacob Arntson, known as Jake, was a fixture on the sidelines and in the stands of Clackamas High School, where his father is the head coach of the baseball team.
John Arntson is also the social studies teacher at the high school and varsity defensive coordinator for the football team.
"This little guy was just a special little boy. He was so much beyond seven years of age. He was precocious, he was fun loving, he had wit. He could kid you," said Jeff Erdman, the high school's athletic director.
Erdman recalled seeing the precocious little boy with his father: "He'd ride the tractor with his dad after practice on the fields. He'd come with his dad and help him do batting practice. He'd be around here in the press box in football games, drawing pictures and talking."
Oregon State Police said the truck slid off the road near milepost 69 while traveling westbound just before 4:30 p.m. Monday.
John Arnston was able to get out of the truck, but Jake was not.
State police said the truck came to rest about 40 feet below the surface and it took divers nearly five hours to locate the vehicle.
The boy's body was discovered at 9:30 p.m. Monday after the truck was found by divers about 20 yards from shore in 40 feet of water.
Crews took a tow rope down to the pickup and were eventually able to hoist it up.
John Arnston was treated for minor injuries at a Hood River hospital and released.
OSP troopers are continuing to investigate the crash. Lt. Gregg Hastings said speed does not appear to be a factor.
About 200 people, including current and former Clackamas High School athletes, held a vigil by the baseball field Tuesday afternoon.
Afterward, many left flowers, toys and books at a memorial on the field, which will stay as long as weather allows, said the high school's principal, Christine Garcia.
"It's difficult when it's a child. It makes you think about your own children. Our hearts and prayers go out to them," said Garcia. "Obviously there's nothing we can do, but this community will come together and try to help the family out as best they can."
"He was everything that's good about life and about people and about a school, community," said Erdman. "So our hearts go out to John and Tracy and their family. He's with us forever. He'll never be forgotten, he's with us forever."
The family released a statement Tuesday:
"Dear friends, family, and all of you who have reached out to us in the Clackamas community and beyond. By now you might have heard that our beloved son and brother, Jacob Roy Arntson, died last night in a traffic accident east of Hood River. Jake was just 7 years old, but in those 7 years he brought so much light into our world and touched so many lives as a friend and classmate. He was a wonderful child, and we miss him so much.
"We will be making arrangements through Bateman's Funeral Home, and will be setting up a fund in memory of Jake in the days ahead. We'll pass along those details soon.
"Our family has felt your support and your love during these difficult hours. Your caring means more to us than we can say, and we are so grateful. We know you join us in honoring Jake's memory, remembering his bright eyes and big smile.
"Jake: we love you forever.
"The Arntson Family."
Copyright KPTV 2013 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
7-year-old boy killed after car crashes into Columbia RiverMore>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:56:12 GMT
The body of a missing Portland woman has been found in Hawaii. A medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has notMore >
The medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has not yet been determined.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:25 AM EDT2013-05-22 05:25:22 GMT
Fluoride in PortlandPortland voters are deciding Tuesday what kind of water will be coming out of the tap. They're voting between fluoride or no fluoride in the city's drinking water. The first batch ofMore >
Portland voters are deciding Tuesday what kind of water will be coming out of the tap. They're voting between fluoride or no fluoride in the city's drinking water.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:28 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:28:17 GMT
The man held responsible for a deadly shooting outside of a southeast Portland sports bar was sentenced to 36 years behind bars. A judge handed down the sentence for Vorladeth Souvannachoumkham today in court. AMore >
The man held responsible for a deadly shooting outside of a southeast Portland sports bar was sentenced to 36 years behind bars.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >