Friends mourn the loss of 17-year-old Hewitt-Trussville student

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TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) – Sixteen-year-old Jacob Baggett was on the Cahaba River with some friends on Thursday, including 17-year-old Brock Bowman.

Bowman drowned after getting stuck between two rocks underneath the water.

Baggett was there, he saw what happened and is now dealing with the reality of having to carry on without Brock, his best friend since the second grade.

“It’s confusing. I don’t want to believe it, but sometime down the road you just have to accept it and face the fact that he’s somewhere in a better place,” Baggett explained.

He has many memories of Brock, a friend Baggett referred to as the life of the party.

The two friends shared many good moments together playing sports. For many years, Brock was right there by Baggett’s side, up until the final moments of his life.

Baggett said while tubing along the Cahaba River Thursday with friends, rapids swept brick, a high school football standout, to his death.

“Brock stayed in between both rocks,” he said. “We tried to pull him and everything we could, but it just didn’t work.”

Faculty and staff at Hewitt-Trussville High School are remembering the young life lost just days before the start of the new school year.

“Brock meant a lot to so many people here at the school and the community,” Principal Tim Salem said. “We’re walking through it together.”

Although walking the walls of high school without Brock will never been the same for Baggett, he says he has learned one very important lesson from everything that has transpired.

“I think we’ll all learn from it. Life’s precious, and we always got to be humble for what we have,” said Baggett. “He’ll always be in our hearts.”

To donate to the Bowman Family Memorial Fund set up through First Baptist Church of Trussville, click here.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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