By Dave Pearce
A 15-year-old Mount Vernon High School student died tragically as the result of an automobile accident on Monday, June 3, 2013.
Cole Thomas Russell, 15, of rural Mount Vernon, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Russell was approaching his sophomore year at Mount Vernon High School where he had been on the wrestling team, football team and track team. He enjoyed work and was a volunteer with Point Township and Black Township Fire and Rescue. Cole loved to hunt, fish and target shoot but more than anything he loved to help others. He thrived off bringing love and laughter to his family and friends, which made his home quickly become the ‘gathering place’ for so many.
According to Posey County Coroner Jay Price, who also serves as chief of the Black Township Fire Department and Assistant Chief of the Point Township Fire Department, “there will be a very big hole for a very long time” as a result of the loss.
“We are really going to miss the smile on his face,” Price said. “Him and Brent would pull up to the fire station and that boy would jump out of the truck and run in there and just put a smile on everyone’s face. He would harass and tease them and he enjoyed being teased back. He was just a good all-around kid.”
Price said that he met Russell as a youngster and that he quickly took an interest in the fire department, becoming a cadet at the age of 12, officially.
“But he had been around the fire department most of his life. We have watched him grow up. He was always around and always wanting to learn,” Price said. “Any time any of the guys needed anything, he was always there, no matter what it was.”
Price said that as much as this tragic event affected Cole’s family, it also deeply affected his firefighter family.
“We are a family there. Any time anyone needs anything there in the department we are always there for each other,” Price said. “A lot of my younger guys were good fishing buddies with him and it was really tough to make a run on one of your own people. Going out on these kinds of accidents with people that you don’t know real well is tough enough, but when it is one of your own, it just doesn’t get any tougher than that. But on the other side of that, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Who better to go get one of your own people than you?”
Price said the call came out as a Point Township run and just happened to be driving past the Point Township Station when the call came in.
“As soon as I got a radio, I called for Black Township because it was called in as a roll-over accident,” Price said. “We dealt with what we had.”
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Denny Roos and Madonna Russell; great grandfathers, John Friend and Don Walton; Uncles, Skipper Thompson and Don Gumble.
Cole leaves behind his parents, Mandy (Walton) and Brent Roos, Matt Russell and his fiancé Jennifer Hawkins; sisters, Sierra and Zoey Brown, Haley and Lillian Russell; brother, Ethan Russell; grandparents, Donna Walton, Mark Walton, Sandy Roos, Becky Roos, and Gary Russell; great grandmothers, Mildred “mid” Walton and Darlene Friend ; uncles, Brian Roos, Joe Walton, Brian Russell; aunts, Brook Esche, Stacy Beeson, Tracy Hines, Susan Zink; great aunt, Judy Gumble numerous cousins, aunts, and extended family.
“This is the toughest situation I have ever been through as a fire chief,” Price said.
Funeral services were held Saturday at the Mount Vernon General Baptist Church in Mount Vernon with the Rev. Matthew Watson officiating.
By Dave Pearce
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