A youngster had just taken the giant leap into becoming a teenager, and the world was his oyster. However, his life was cut short unexpectedly while he was out, being young and having fun.
Jacob Wallace was a bright and active young boy from Cedarville, Arkansas. He played for his school’s football and basketball teams, always bringing positive energy and joy to the people around him.
Cedarville Middle School principal Dr. Sarah McPhate sang Wallace’s praises, describing him as a well-liked child whose smile was contagious. The youngster’s parents were likely proud of him and never imagined receiving a nightmarish, life-changing phone call.
He Was a Happy Boy
Every one who knew Wallace echoed a similar sentiment: He was a “beautiful soul” that loved making jokes and having a good time.
He turned 13 on September 29, 2022, and less than three weeks after reaching the teenage milestone, the unthinkable happened to the precious boy.
Wallace’s friends prepared for the rest of the school year while his parents prepared for something much different and unforeseen.
The Unexpected Incident
The Cedarville Middle School student was always up for an adventure and loved being out and about. On an ordinary Sunday, he drove to his uncle’s house. It was only a quarter mile from where he resided, and he knew the road well.
The teen had just enjoyed a school break and was likely eager to get back, but tragically it was not meant to be. While en route to his relative’s home, something shocking happened. Wallace was involved in an accident on October 16.
Nobody knew what led to the incident, but Wallace’s family believed an animal might have jumped in his way. The teen was on his all-terrain vehicle (ATV) when he swerved into a tree—the consequences were devastating.
It Was a Devastating Accident
Wallace’s friends prepared for the rest of the school year while his parents prepared for something much different and unforeseen. Their beloved son had passed away, and it was time to say goodbye to him.
He was on the verge of the rest of his life when all his hopes were thwarted unexpectedly. Principal McPhate stated:
“It’s a tremendous loss for our community and a phone call you never want to hear.”
The principal immediately arranged for counseling at the school, and they provided support for students and staff. Losing someone everyone loved is never easy, and Wallace’s larger-than-life personality would be missed.
Honoring the Teenager
The youngster’s football coach, Max Washausen, was eager to honor the teenager. He always found a way to pay tribute to students that passed away and encouraged the football team to wear helmet decals with the number 55—it was Wallace’s number.
The teen will also be laid to rest wearing his number 55 football jersey. His funeral service will be held on October 20 at Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church in Van Buren. Wallace’s uncle, Robert McDonnor, expressed the family’s absolute grief:
“I’d give anything, anything, to change it, but you can’t. You just [have] to learn to move on somehow. I wish I could have protected him.”
Grateful for the Love and Support
Learning to live without the sound of Wallace’s laughter or the sight of his bright smile would not be easy. The teen’s uncle asked people to pray for healing after the sudden tragedy and loss. He added:
“Jacob deserved so much more life, but God called him home tonight. He was [a] sweet young man with such a huge heart and a smile that would light up [the] world.”
Thankfully, the family received significant support and love from their community. McDonnor was in awe of the kindness shown to them and noted that words couldn’t express how thankful they were.
There Was Light in the Darkness
Additionally, the grieving family was supported via their GoFundMe page. By October 19, close to $12,000 had been donated.
Tributes poured in online, and the teen’s family noted that a piece of their heart was gone for good. Via McDonnor’s post, they said:
“I am still at a loss for words. Although we are still deeply hurt by this tragic situation, all of you have given us some light in this dark moment. Our thanks to everyone for everything they’ve done.”
The Online Response
The online community was devastated by the news of the youngster’s passing. People offered the family their heartfelt condolences and prayers:
“I lost [my] cousin [in the] same way in [the] canyons of Utah where he lived. [It] breaks my heart. Same age also. RIP [sweetie].”
– (Jacs Jacs) October 19, 2022
“Prayers [are] being lifted up for all the family and community. Very heart-filled condolences.”
– (Nancy Basham) October 19, 2022
“Condolences to the families [for] his life and this terrible [tragedy] that happened. These quads tip so [easily] and [they are] so dangerous. RIP, little buddy.”
– (Bernie Risk) October 19, 2022
“Sad, I know the family’s pain. Hugs to the family and his friends.”
– (Pamela Samons) October 19, 2022
No parent should have to bury their child. Wallace’s family has a long road of healing ahead of them, and we send our sincere condolences and prayers. May their precious child rest in peace and look over them from above.
Click here for a story about a 17-year-old girl on her way to school. She was a beautiful soul and had the rest of her life ahead of her when something unexpected happened.