Neighbors react to 12-year-old losing his life at High Falls State Park

Neighbors remember Christian Burdette

On Tuesday, dozens of people lined up at High Falls State Park to pray for the Burdette family as rescue teams made their way down the falls to rescue the two brothers.

Nicole Butler spoke with neighbors and other loved ones, who say watching this tragedy unravel slowly broke their hearts.

Caution tape blocked off the bridge at High Falls State Park in order to get rescue teams into the air to try and save 17-year-old James Burdette.

The community gathered trying to make sense of the chaos.

Amanda Webb says she came as quickly as she could to lend support to the family, and she says she's struggling with how to tell her children what happened.

"And my two oldest are their ages, and they are friends with them so it's going to be a tough conversation," Webb cried.

Once rescue teams were able to locate James about 50 feet from the bank, they jumped into action and were able to fly him to safety.

But once Webb realized they were too late to save his brother 12-year-old Christian, she says her heart broke for the family.

"I'm praying for them... But I know that Christian went to heaven because he got baptized about a month and a half ago so I know he's in a better place," she said.

Many people said he was the neighborhood's child; Christian was loved by everyone especially family friend Clint Abbott.

Abbott says it's hard to imagine he will never visit again.

"Before he left we had hugged and he say I love you and I'd say I love you and you know it just hit me hard," Abbott said.

Abbott says he will always remember him as a little daredevil, zooming through the neighborhood on his dirt bike.

But youth group leader, Melissa Reynolds says she will always remember his addictive smile.

Saying Tuesday, the pain was like she lost one of her own children.

"I know that time will ease our pain but we will never forget Christian. Christian impacted so many people in 12 years of life that some can't do in a lifetime," Reynolds said.

Reynolds says they will be releasing balloons in Christian's memory.

If you would like to show your support, the event starts 7 p.m. this Wednesday at First Baptist Church in High Falls.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment