Authorities Rule Out Foul Play In LSU Athlete Everette Jackson's Death
"Unfortunately, we were told he was not able to escape the river when the current got rough and was swept away down the river," his family shared.
by Nick Fenley
July 13, 2022 at 10:39 pm
Amid public suspicion, Idaho-based officials have announced that Everette Jackson tragically died of drowning.
Idaho law enforcement has released their report on the death of a college basketball player from Louisiana who was washed away in the current of one of the state’s rivers. https://t.co/FOUUN6sQnJ— Atlanta Black Star (@ATLBlackStar) July 12, 2022
The tragedy occurred during a tubing excursion on Idaho’s Payette River on June 11. Jackson, who was a student-athlete at Louisiana State University (LSU), was visiting the Gem State in order to see his girlfriend, Graci Kolka.
The pair decided to go tubing with some others during Jackson’s visit, though he and Kolka ultimately became separated from the group after missing an exit point due to the powerful current.
Resultingly, Jackson — who reportedly wasn’t wearing a lifejacket — and Kolka exited their tubes and attempted to swim over to the riverbank. However, Jackson was ultimately swept farther downstream and missed another dock, according to KTVB.
Everette Jackson (21) went tubing with friends yesterday in Bossie, Idaho. He & his gf missed their exit & paddled to the dock but the water was too strong. She grabbed a branch & tried to reach for him but he was knocked by the current. A post or rt can help our family find him pic.twitter.com/jLx4l4g4vR
— Keion Monique (@keigates) June 12, 2022
“Graci said she tried to reach for Everett and he went underwater again. Graci stated she swam back to shore, saying it was very deep and the water was moving very fast. Graci said she got to shore and began screaming Everett’s name,” authorities noted in a report, per KTVB.
Sixteen officers eventually made it to the scene, though the search was fruitless.
“Unfortunately, on our search we found nothing,” a June 12 report said, per KTVB. “The conditions of the day were not that great, heavy rains at the time, with steady rain throughout. That, with the river flowing at a very high rate made searching very difficult.”
The body of Everette Jackson was ultimately discovered on June 19.
It is with great sadness that we have learned that the body of Everette Jackson has been found. We will share funeral arrangements after he returns home and they are made available.
Please keep Everette’s family and loved ones in your prayers in the coming days and weeks. pic.twitter.com/z6NxJxeCGv
— LSU Eunice (@LSUEunice) June 19, 2022
Now, Idaho officials have determined that Jackson’s presumed cause of death was “suffocation by drowning.”
“I did not observe any bruising, wounds, or ligatures,” the report said, according to KTVB.
Despite this report, some people have been side-eying the case since its inception, with the speculation seemingly stemming from Kolka and Jackson’s interracial relationship.
Everette Jackson’s body has been found 2 miles down stream after an 8 day search… I pray for his family and those who loved him. Please black men, especially black college athletes LEAVE THEM WW ALONE. It hardly ever works in y’all’s favor
— Tesha Angelique (@BluInRealTime) June 21, 2022
The Everette Jackson story pic.twitter.com/N6d1TJseBz
— The Kingdom Magazine (@TheKingdomMag5) June 17, 2022
Now, Jackson’s family is continuing to take the necessary steps to move forward in the wake of the tragedy.
“Now that Everette has been laid to rest, we are beginning to try to take the steps in moving forward and getting some answers that we still long for,” the family wrote in a GoFundMe post. “We are asking for continued support in getting legal advice/help, seeking guidance and therapy with grief, and picking up the pieces of our lives that have been broken since the tragic news on June 11, 2022.”
The family also summed up the situation within the post.
“After a week long search, Everette Jackson 21, of Louisiana, was found in the Payette River in Emmett, Idaho. Where he had went to visit his college girlfriend whom took him tubing on the Payette River Saturday June 11. The River conditions were unsafe and Everette was not aware or familiar with the area or conditions for tubing,” they wrote.
“Unfortunately, we were told he was not able to escape the river when the current got rough and was swept away down the river,” the family continued.
As local authorities in Idaho and many family and friends search for Everette Jackson, we have received messages from concerned community members about how they can help. This link below is a GoFundMe through Everette’s family.https://t.co/1uZ0C8zZoo pic.twitter.com/G4RM1Mx6rP
— LSU Eunice Athletics (@LSUEBengals) June 16, 2022