Football coach mourns the loss of children killed in Lyell Avenue crash
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Community members are mourning the loss of the two young children that died in a crash on Lyell Avenue the day before Thanksgiving.
Jamil Gaines, a local barber, told News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey that he was a football coach for one of the kids and the news of his death has been hard to process.
Gaines, the owner of Purpose Grooming Lounge on Chestnut Street says he was a football coach for one of the young boys, and that the loss of these two young lives was a devastating hit to the community. Gaines told us when he got the call about the crash, the person on the other line referenced a football jersey number, and he knew who it was.
"She couldn’t remember his name, so she sent me a picture and she said, ‘Number five’, and it was Jadden,” Gaines said.
Gaines describes 11-year-old Jadden Desue as a quiet child but was a friend to everyone. When Friday night lights came on, he always brought his game face, matching his love for football.
"He was a running back, line baker, all-purpose player, very nice kid, he meant business on the field,” Gaines said.
The crash happened on Lyell Avenue Wednesday. Jadden’s four-year-old brother, Ja’vion Green-Rucker, also died. Investigators say a third child, who is eight years old was seriously hurt but is expected to be OK. Both drivers had minor injuries, one of them was the children’s mother. All of the kids attended Enrico Fermi School 17.
"My heart goes out to this mother and father, they didn’t just lose him, they lost his brother, and his other brother is still pretty banged up so it’s just a bad situation all the way around,” Gaines added.
Gaines says, as a coach, he becomes a father-like figure for the kids he interacts with. He said the memory of Jadden will be in his heart forever.
"When you’re coaching he belongs to you, you have to protect him, you have to make sure everything is ok with him, it’s just one of those things right now where I couldn’t be there to protect him, and as a coach you want to be there like I said you become a father figure,” Gaines said.
The crash is still under investigation. News10NBC did talk to the Rochester School District, and they say that grief counselors will be at School 17 as kids return to classes Monday.
In a statement, the district said, "We are devastated at the passing of two of our school #17 students and are praying for the speedy recovery of our scholar who remains hospitalized. Our hearts go out to their family and the school #17 community. Our team has been working with the school leadership and will have the trauma, illness, and grief team as well as school social workers present on Monday to provide support and counseling."