Sheriff releases details and a plea for support of grieving family
A young father and son drowned March 30 in an accident in the canal above Summer Falls, and the father's body still hasn't been found.
This morning, Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones issued a media advisory on the matter.
In 25 years of journalism, no press release has brought tears to my eyes, until this one.
Below, in its entirety, is the sheriff's message, including some details of the accident and a plea for compassion:
A message from Sheriff Tom Jones regarding the investigation of the Mar. 30 incident near Summer Falls:
The past eight days have been incredibly difficult for the family of Scott Kolves and Korey Kolves. Eight-year-old Korey’s funeral was held Saturday and was attended by over 250 people from all across the area. It was sad, but it was also a beautiful tribute to a much-loved young boy.
Sadly, as of yet, and in spite of many continued attempts by several agencies, including Sheriff's Deputies going up and searching the canal while off duty, we have not been able to recover Scott’s body from the canal above Summer Falls. We all wish we would have found him by now to help bring this chapter to a close for the Kolves family.
The recovery of Scott’s body would officially bring the Grant County Sheriff’s Office investigation to a close, at which time we would be able to release the results of the investigation. There are some details which I can share now. These details help shed light on what happened on March 30. By sharing this information, I am asking the public to remember the Kolves family and to continue to focus on supporting them cope with this terrible tragedy. This is not the time for criticism or unkind comments. This is a time for understanding, accepting, and helping a grieving community.
A rumor which had circulated after the accident was that one of the children was driving the truck when it went into the canal. Late last week, Traffic Unit investigators did determine, through interviews and supporting evidence at the scene that Scott Kolves' 10-year-old son was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.
Scott was out with his boys for a fishing trip, and during his time with his sons, he was going to teach his 10-year-old son how to drive. Scott was in the passenger seat. When he realized they were in trouble he grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to keep the vehicle on the canal road. The truck ended up in the canal. Two nearby fishermen, Cameron Cox and Mike Miller, saw the truck go into the canal and rushed to help, rescuing Scott Kolves' 10-year-old son and 12-year-old son. Scott and Korey were swept downstream. Korey was pulled from the canal by a Sheriff’s Deputy and a state Fish and Wildlife officer, and Korey later died at Samaritan Hospital. We hope and pray for the soonest recovery of Scott’s body.
Scott loved his sons. Everybody we talk to lets us know how much he loved his sons. Spending time with them – especially fishing – was the highlight of his life. Scott’s last outing was centered on the love for his sons and enjoying time with them. There are no criminal charges. This was an accident.
I again ask the community to refrain from any judgment and to please focus on supportive behavior for the Kolves family. Please care for the survivors and help them heal from this awful accident.