ALOHA, Ore. (KOIN 6) – Three hundred butterflies were released in remembrance of the 16-year-old Aloha boy who died saving his younger brother.
Alex Smith drowned July 1 when he dove underwater at Wildwood Falls to help his younger brother, who fell into the water.
Smith’s mother said she is grateful she didn’t lose both of her sons that day at Wildwood Falls. But, her heart will not be the same without the song her son brought to it.
“I’m just so proud I was a part of his life and he was a part of mine,” said one speaker at the memorial.
Another friend named Andy, recalled a sixth-grade tiff with Smith over “skinny jeans,” as well as skateboarding.
“I just know that when I go out and skate he’s there with us and he’ll be laughing and smiling.”
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said Smith was walking near the falls with his younger brother when the younger boy slipped and began sliding down the rocks into the water.
According to witnesses, Smith went into the water in an effort to save his younger brother, and they both ended up going down a narrow chute of water.
The younger brother emerged from the water, but Smith never resurfaced.
Smith is survived by his two sisters, his parents and the brother whose life he saved.